How an ‘ancient landslide’ keeps threatening a railroad, homes in San Clemente
A historic landslide is starting to threaten a large section of the San Clemente Freeway, just south of San Clemente, with the potential to completely block this part of the road for a long time. A pair of landslides have been happening along this section of the highway since 2010. The first one took place on Sep. 21, 2010, when an avalanche of 20 inches and 20 foot tall debris took out a section of this section of highway causing a huge traffic jam and a small amount of devastation.
The second landslide, which occurred on Dec. 15, 2012, resulted in the partial removal of a concrete bridge, as a result of massive shifting. A portion of the concrete bridge was removed in March 2013.
The first and second landslides have now caused an increase in the traffic volume of this section of the highway due to the disruption of the bridge. This has already resulted in over 200 of the 700-vehicle traffic jam along this section of the San Clemente Freeway.
The last landslide happened on the evening of March 20, 2015, that left the highway completely blocked and a pile of debris that was blocking the roadway. The highway had to be closed for over 12 hours, as the road surface was unstable due to this massive shifting; the highway had to be reopened a couple of days later, just before the Super Bowl.
The freeway is set to be resurfaced on March 29, 2015, but if the instability is not resolved soon, the bridge will be completely removed in May because it is structurally unsound.
Currently, the freeway is completely blocked just south of the San Clemente neighborhood. The highway was set to be resurfaced on March 29, 2015, but if the instability is not resolved soon, the bridge will be completely removed in May because it is structurally unsound. (Photo by Richard T. Devine/LAT)
The highway is set to be resurfaced