The new Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in Big Sur is set to open Oct. 13, about eight months after heavy winter storms created a buckle in the road over a 320-foot drop, Caltrans said.
The bridge is a vital link in California's coastal Highway 1 drive. When it was closed in February, it cut off a key route from Southern California to the Big Sur community, whose economy depends heavily on tourism.
Additional storms pounded the Central Coast and created mudslides south of the community in the months that followed, further isolating the town.
Caltrans said replacing the bridge cost $24 million. Repairs of winter storm damage to Californian's roads, bridge and water infrastructure will likely cost upward of $1 billion.
The new bridge, rising 320 feet above Pfeiffer Canyon, uses steel girders rather than the columns that were used originally and became compromised during the storms, Caltrans said. An exact time for the bridge's official opening next week has not been announced.