California is home to some of the best driving and riding roads out there. And thanks to its generally favorable weather conditions for most of the year, it’s a haven for both car and motorcycle enthusiasts eager to hit the road.

On the top of the favorite list of a lot of riders and drivers is none other than the Pacific Coast Highway. The PCH stretches a whopping 1,650 miles from Port Townsend in Washington all the way to San Diego, California. Full of manicured twisty sections and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, it’s no surprise that a lot of people visit this road just for the sake of driving on it.

With that being said, when it rains, it sometimes does even more than just pour. A recent storm caused large chunks of the road on Highway 1 on the southern section of PCH to break off.

The massive, rocky pieces tumbled down the cliffs and into the ocean, posing a safety risk and compromising the road's structural integrity. Safety officials had to close off around 40 miles of road as repair crews assessed the damage.

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Following the incident, the California Department of Transportation instructed residents to avoid the area. According to a report from Jalopnik, Monterey County’s head of communications Nicholas Pasculli even went as far as calling the situation a “state disaster."

Furthermore, a report from the New York Times stated that around 2,000 people were left stranded by the collapsed road. Of the 2,000, a large number were tourists, with many forced to spend the night in hotels, inns, and in some cases, even their vehicles.

Luckily, officials were quick to get the situation under control, and emergency convoys were deployed to escort everyone to safety the next day.


It’s worth mentioning that the recent road collapse in Highway 1 is merely an addition to the repair work ongoing on the PCH. A similar landslide in 2023 caused closures along the road near Big Sur with repairs expected to be completed in late spring. However, this most recent collapse is expected to delay the completion even further.

While all this definitely sucks, it was a stroke of sheer luck that there have been no reported injuries due to the recent road collapse. 

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) maintains a handy road information website where travelers can look up current highway conditions before they travel. If you know the highway number you'll be riding or driving in CA, you can look up the latest at the link in our Sources.

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