Cracks in a support column under the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 in Big Sur continue to grow, causing an indefinite closure of the road.

At 5pm on Wednesday, car and pedestrian traffic were stopped completely. Caltrans crews plan to reassess the bridge’s stability on Feb. 21, but there is no guarantee the bridge will open again on that date.

“It’s a situation that is still evolving,” says Caltrans spokesman Jim Shivers. “It’s too soon to know if the bridge will need to be replaced.”

Recent rain caused a landslide on the west side of Pfeiffer Canyon, pushing mud and soil downhill—and under the bridge. That moving earth  shifted the middle bridge support column, according to a Caltrans official surveying the damage Wednesday. As the base of the column moved downhill, the top started to crack and fracture. 
Caltrans officials are worried that the coming rains will cause further damage.

Rain started to fall again in Monterey County late Wednesday night, which caused a closure of the bridge to through traffic.

“We simply need to see what happens next,” Shivers says.

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is also currently closed, leaving many Big Sur residents without any paved to access the Monterey Peninsula or the Salinas Valley. 

Staff photojournalist at Monterey County Weekly.

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(1) comment

Matthew Skocilich

Wow! A mudslide did that?

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