More rain = another substantial Highway 1 landslide down in Big Sur. This one has closed Highway 1 near Limekiln Creek about 30 miles south of the Bixby Bridge / Rocky Creek road closure.
Unlike the earlier Rock Creek collapse, the Limekilm is “just” a slide of mud and rocks onto the road surface. Caltrans had to suspend efforts to clear the road, however, when a large boulder smashed up a contractor’s end loader.
Highway 1 remains closed in both directions at the slide location, cutting off a 30 mile stretch of Highway 1 to all traffic along the California Central Coast. Caltrans says they expect to resume clearning operations on Friday morning.
Power is out in some neighborhoods that have been cut off, but local residents report that a PG&E crew is trapped with them and are working to restore power as best they can.
Area highways in the SF Bay Area and Santa Cruz also had momentary closures due to rockslides and downed trees from our heavy and continuous rainfall.
Meanwhile in Japan, road workers repaired and opened the Kanto Highway only SIX DAYS after the monster March 17 earthquake destroyed it.
Japan’s public works spending is about like American military spending, with public sector contruction funded to the tune of 9% of the nation’s GDP. The country spends about $200 Billion each year on roads, bridges, tunnels, dams, flood channels and tsunami walls. Countless bridges, tunnels and roads to nowhere litter the countryside as huge contractors pay kickbacks to politicians in return for monstrous pork projects. The graft, waste and inefficiency in Japan’s system makes the US Air Force $640 toilet seat look cheap in comparison.
There are literally millions of workers employed by half a million companies supported by a slew of government agencies of nearly 100,000 bureaucrats who spend their days digging and refilling holes in Japan when they’re not on a smoke break, so to me it’s not any wonder they can rebuild a road in six days.
It’s an impressive accomplishment, but the response was military-like because Japan puts the emphasis and funding into their public works that the United States puts into our military. Transportation and big projects are important to Japan.