Highway to Ensenada collapses after landslide

earthquakeSAN DIEGO – Traffic between San Diego and Ensenada was detoured away from the southern end of the Baja California toll road, because a chunk of it collapsed towards the ocean following a series of small earthquakes and recent heavy rainfall.

No injuries were reported in the massive collapse, early Saturday morning about 10 miles north of Ensenada, or about 56 miles south of the U.S.- Mexico border.

The Salsipuedes stretch of highway was reportedly fractured and sinking following a 4.6-magnitude quake Dec. 19, although it had not been confirmed that that quake caused the collapse, according to U-T San Diego. Parts of the scenic highway collapsed 300 feet toward the sea.

Geologist Pat Abbott told 10News that the collapse was only a matter of time. The roadway was being retrofitted, and had long been considered unstable, according to 10News.

“Any forces, be it plate tectonics, a fault, what have you, anything that lifts up landscape, gravity is determined to pull it down and it works every minute of every day of every year until it succeeds,” Abbott told the
television station.

The toll road, known as Highway 1-D, is closed from the La Mision toll gates to the San Miguel toll gates. Coastal traffic was detoured on the old free highway, Mexico 1.

The closure was atop a cliff that drops several hundred feet into the Pacific Ocean, just south of the Costa Azul LNG station, owned by San Diego’s Sempra Energy. The plant was apparently not affected.

The closure was beyond Rosarito Beach, Puerto Nuevo and other popular tourist attractions near San Diego.

Drivers could still get from San Diego to Ensenada via California 94 to Tecate and then south on Mexico 3.