BIG SUR (CBS SF) – Caltrans says the storm damage to the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge near Big Sur is beyond repair and could shut down that section of Highway 1 indefinitely.
Highway 1 has been periodically closed in both directions at the bridge since earlier in February when fractures were noticed in both the support pillars and the span due slumping from a nearby hillside, officials said. The bridge was closed completely to vehicle traffic on Feb. 15.
Further assessment on Wednesday indicated that the bridge will need to be removed and replaced.
According to a report in the San Jose Mercury News, Caltrans did not know the time frame for the current span to get demolished and a new bridge to be built.
The National Weather Service posted images on Wednesday morning that showed the extent of the damage.
While parts of Big Sur were cut off to most on the Central Coast due to the closure, some more well-heeled visitors were paying to make their escape.
According to reports, those with cash to spare can hop on a helicopter to the Monterey Regional Airport. The price per helicopter ride was steep at $780, but the three seats in the chopper mean a shared ride can bring the price tag down a bit.