Throughout history there have been a number of different ways to interpret the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. One is that Humpty Dumpty was King Richard III of England who was defeated at Bosworth Field in 1485. Another says the character depicts a massive cannon that was placed strategically on a wall that protected the English town of Colchester and was destroyed in battle in 1648.
I’m using it as an analogy to Highway 1 in California; specifically a section of Highway 1 that leads to Big Sur. About nine miles north of the southern border of Monterey County, a handful of landslides came down, the largest one is estimated to be a quarter mile wide, 30 to 40 feet deep, and consisting of more than one million tons of debris, covering Highway 1 and spilling into the ocean.
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Take a look for yourself at the sheer size of it:
No one was in the area when this huge slide occurred, because the road had already been closed from previous slides.
I look at it as “Humpty Dumpty” because all the king’s horses and all the king’s men just can’t seem to keep the highway open thus, putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.
A spokesperson for Caltrans said, “Where do you even start? This is huge.”
That’s one of the questions I’m asking all of you. Where should they start? Is there a way to keep the road consistently open? Can the road itself be repaired so that it can take the pounding of future slides? Would you like to have the contract to clear the landslide and fix the road? Would it be easier to just build another road in a safer place?
When similar slide came down in 1983 covering Highway 1 north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, it took 14 months to clear it.