Sarah Rice

Photographer
   
Big Sur, 'The Island', cut off from traffic by landslides
Location: Portland, Maine
Nationality: USA
Biography:     Sarah Rice is a documentary photographer interested in exploring the elements that bind human beings to one another. Some of her work focuses on communities of individuals content to live apart from mainstream society; the choices... read on
Public Story
Big Sur, 'The Island', cut off from traffic by landslides
Credits: sarah rice
Date of Work: 05/14/17 - 05/21/17
Updated: 07/12/17
Heavy rains this winter caused massive landslides in Big Sur, California, a picturesque tourist destination high above the Pacific Ocean on Highway One in central California.  A large portion of the town has been cut off from regular traffic since mid-February.  A bridge on the north side of 'The Island', as locals are calling the cut-off portion, was damaged and had to be torn down.  The new bridge isn't expected to open until September.  On the south side of The Island, there are two major slides (many minor slides have already been repaired).  The first is Paul's Slide, which crews are working on.  There is a gate at the south end of The Island and every day crews clear their trucks off the highway so a stream of traffic can get into The Island first thing in the morning, and leave at the end of the day.  Since there is another slide past Paul's Slide, leaving Big Sur this way doesn't mean an easy ride.  A curvy narrow mountain road takes you back to the 101, but it's a 3.5 hour workaround to get back up to Monterey.  South of Paul's Slide is the Mud Creek Slide, which is still moving and too unstable to begin work. Last month it slide again in a major way - the largest slide in the state's history -  and no one knows when the road will reopen.  Residents of The Island have taken to trekking in and out on the north side by a trail built into the canyon the failed bridge used to cross.  I hiked into the cut-off portion to document the lives of those on the inside for nbcnews.com, you can see more photos here.  
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