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California's Coastal Highway 1 Is Slowly Crumbling Towards The Ocean

MILL VALLEY (KPIX 5) -- Heavy rains have ravaged state Highway 1 in the North Bay.

Crews are scrambling to keep up with the damage along the scenic coastal drive.

The problems stretch from the Panoramic Highway and Muir Beach area, all the way up to Jenner.

Bill Taylor was checking out a slide in Mill Valley and said, "It's always been doing that. Any time there's big weather, Highway 1 takes a vacation."

And there has been plenty of big weather.

This winter's inundation of rain has undermined the earth around the road, leading to multiple mudslides, including one located near Stinson Beach.

A portion of Highway 1 between Panoramic and Muir Beach is completely shut down and likely won't reopen until April, even with Caltrans fast-tracking the repairs. It will be a major and lengthy repair.

"I wouldn't call it extreme but it's pretty intense, especially with the slope coming down like this," said Khin Vong, with Caltrans.

A similar scene is also playing out near Jenner.

The southbound side of highway 1 is closed, and emergency crews have had to fly the chopper to calls because they can't get out there.

Today, Caltrans announced it will be shutting down the whole roadway Monday and Tuesday of next week. It needs to shore up the northbound lanes before more rain ruins that, too.

It's a huge problem because the alternative routes are on very windy back roads. And there's possibly landslides back there that nobody knows about yet. There's no cell coverage back there so if you get stuck, you're stuck.

Drivers all along the coast have had to take detours and circuitous routes to go inland. And all the repairs have crews scrambling from one site to another, staying on their toes so those on four wheels will be able to get by.

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