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.

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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.

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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.

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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.