During a break between rainstorms, Caltrans and other work crews are finally able to start assessing the damage to Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 in Big Sur after a landslide compromised a support column on Feb 11.

“The bridge is beyond repair,” says Caltrans spokeswoman Susana Cruz, based on a Feb. 21 structural assessment.

She says the bridge will have to come down. She estimates a replacement could take upward of a year – a long isolation for some 435 residents who live south of Pfeiffer Canyon, as well as dozens of restaurants and businesses.

North of the bridge, Highway 1 shows damage from mudslides and downed trees as crews work to clear mud and silt from the road while weather permits. 

California Highway Patrol has closed the highway just south of Palo Colorado Road to the public, with the exception of work and emergency crews and residents living south of Palo Colorado Road who are allowed to travel that stretch of the highway. 

The closure Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge is a hard closure and no members of the public—including pedestrians, cyclists and local residents—are being allowed through.

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