2,000 travelers stranded on California's Highway 1 after another chunk fell into the ocean

Nearly 2,000 travelers were stranded on California's spectacular, two-lane Highway 1 over the weekend near Monterey after large chunks of it broke off and fell into the ocean. "We came here just to have lunch and go home, and now it's like everyone is trapped here," one stranded tourist said, via The New York Times.

Officials in California on Sunday slowly began guiding drivers past a collapsed section of scenic Highway 1 in the Big Sur area, one day after the damage left about 2,000 motorists stranded overnight.

Officials with the California Department of Transportation urged the public on Sunday to avoid that section of the southbound highway in the Central Coast, and Monterey County issued a disaster declaration. The highway remains closed to the public while crews work on the affected areas, where large chunks of the road fell into the ocean. The agency, known as Caltrans, did not give an estimate of when the highway would fully reopen. …

Officials did not say what led to the collapse, but torrential rain on Saturday battered the area near Rocky Creek Bridge, the site of the damage, which is about 17 miles south of Monterey.

This latest highway crumble isn't as massive as the gigantic piece of Highway 1 that tumbled into the ocean in 2021, causing a 12-mile section of the road near Big Sur to shut down. That part of the highway is still closed, but thanks to ongoing repair work over the last three years, is finally expected to reopen later this spring.