Here’s what a new Highway 1 bridge in Big Sur will look like, and it may open in September

Remember that Highway 1 bridge that sank into the hillside in Big Sur? Caltrans announced Wednesday that a $24-million replacement bridge could be open to the public as soon as September.

The Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, a few miles south of Big Sur Station, failed and shut down Highway 1 to all traffic on Feb. 15. The 1967 span was demolished in March, leaving a gap in the roadway that temporarily cuts Highway 1 into two parts.

The area has been off limits to travelers intent on driving the scenic coastal route.


(Check out this Caltrans video of the bridge demolition.)

The new bridge will rise 320 feet above the canyon and use steel girders instead of columns that could be damaged in future landslides, a Caltrans statement says. Heavy rains caused the original bridge’s cement columns to buckle and sink into the hillside.

After the bridge was demolished, a footpath was built to provide access only for local residents in the Big Sur area. The new bridge is expected to be open to the public in mid- to late-September, the statement says.

But Highway 1 has other storm-related problems too.

Storm damage and landslides have kept three other parts of the road south of the failed bridge — Ragged Point, Mud Creek near Gorda and Paul’s Slide near Lucia — closed to all traffic. There is no time estimate yet on when these spots will open to the public.


Major Highway 1 landslide closure south of Big Sur to continue at least four more weeks

Big Sur lost a bridge and slipped back in time. Now residents are wondering what happens next

After summer’s wildfire and winter’s heavy rains, five coastal parks in the Big Sur area remain closed indefinitely