California’s Highway 1 near Big Sur collapses into the ocean, shrinking traffic to one lane

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Drivers drove through a scenic stretch of Highway 1 in California on Monday after a giant tractor-trailer crashed into the lake. more rain over the weekendstranding 1,600 people in the coastal area of ​​Big Sur.

Traffic resumed at 8 a.m. Monday on one lane of the highway, although most of the people stranded in Big Sur were allowed to leave when one lane reopened Sunday after being closed overnight, said Kevin Drabinski, a spokesman for the California Department of Highways. of Transportation, or CalTrans.

“When the convoys are going through, we have observers to check the condition of the road to make sure it’s going smoothly,” Drabinski said.

The collapse happened Saturday near the Rocky Creek Bridge about 17 miles (27 kilometers) south of Monterey, and traffic backed up for miles in both directions.

Kirk Gafill, manager of Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur, said about a dozen of his employees who were working that day were stranded in town and had to find friends or family to sleep with.

“That’s probably true for every business in Big Sur,” he said.

Big Sur Lodge opened its conference room to give some stranded truckers a place to stay, while others spent the night in their trucks.

Linda Molinari of Hollister, California, he told Fresno’s KFSN-TV that she and her boyfriend slept in her car after going to lunch in Big Sur on Saturday.

“It was very difficult when the firefighters said, ‘Oh, you sleep here tonight,'” Molinari told the radio station on Easter Sunday after returning home. “It’s amazing to be home, but it hurts. You missed the holidays because you tried to eat lunch the other day.”

More traffic was due to happen at 4pm on Monday, but motorists were advised to avoid the area. Drabinski said engineers will focus on stabilization along the road, but it is not immediately clear when the road will be ready to reopen.

This popular trail is often closed due to falls, mudslides and rock slides during bad weather.

Road crews are expected to take a break from the heavy rain that fell over the weekend, with dry weather expected for the next few days and a chance of light rain Thursday, said Dalton Behringer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Bay area.

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