Road over landslide on famous US highway to cost $40 million

BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) - A plan to build a road over a massive t landslide that closed the world-famous scenic California coastal highway leading to Big Sur will cost about $40 million, state officials said.

The Department of Transportation announced Friday that Highway 1 could reopen by late summer next year, but the timeline for rebuilding will depend on this winter's weather.

A quarter-mile of the picturesque highway was buried in May when more than 1 million tons of rock and earth slipped down a slope saturated by winter storms.

Caltrans says the replacement road will be realigned across the slide and buttressed with embankments, berms, rock and other supports.

"Caltrans is committed to restoring this vital link to and from Big Sur as quickly and safely as possible," said Tim Gubbins, director of the local Caltrans district.

The Monterey Herald reports ( the area remains unstable and that in July Caltrans called the slide "ongoing and still active."

"The whole environment is very unstable, with steep rock right on the coast and really complex geology," said Gary Griggs, a professor of Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "It is just a messy area."