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11

The California Pacific Coast Highway Is Falling

Thanks a lot, climate change. The iconic Pacific Coast Highway in California is at risk of collapsing entirely as parts of the road have been falling into the ocean after intense rainstorms. Erosion expert Gary Griggs says that the road’s days are numbered, as another 150-foot piece of the highway broke off, according to the state’s Department of Transportation:

Repairs are scheduled to be complete in early summer. For now, travelers must turn around when they reach the gaping hole – there's no bypass in that remote stretch of road.
As global temperatures warm because of human-caused climate change, Griggs says the conditions that lead to this kind of damage will only increase. 
The PCH's days are numbered, Griggs said. It's "inevitable” one day the fixes and repairs won't be enough or will be too costly to save the highway.

Image via USA Today 


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My brother's favorite joke used to be, "Hwy 101, what a wonderful view! Ten feet from the ocean on your right. Ten feet from a mountain on your left. Ten feet behind a motorhome doing ten miles an hour."
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HWY 101 is always losing sections. This is nothing new, and it hasn't accelerated significantly from past washouts. There used to be sections of the highway that ran on the beach, and couldn't be passed at high tide, before they were moved up the cliff face onto cutouts. As long as people want to move up and down the coast, it will be worthwhile to maintain the highway.
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A road built on the side of cliff in a geologically unstable area (a geological nightmare at the edge of two tectonic plates to be specific), and that for decades has been subject to heavy rainfall and landslides is finally succumbing to climate change. Sure. Glad we got that straightened out and have properly assigned the blame.
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