BIG SUR (CBS SF) — One area hit particularly hard by storm damage is Big Sur, a small coastal community that has essentially been cut in half with the closure of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge.
“You might think Big Sur as out of the way, but the whole world comes here,” said Big Sur resident Brigga Mosca. “Having Hwy 1 not open all the way through is a huge impact.”
Recent rains damaged the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, shattering the span’s cement bookends. A jagged crack now runs across the underside of the bridge.
Skydrone 5 offered unique aerial view shows exactly why Caltrans engineers have been saying the bridge simply cannot be saved.
“Safety is our number one concern. So until we are absolutely certain that we can look people in the eye and say, ‘Yes, it’s safe to drive on this,’ then we have to keep it closed,” said Caltrans spokesperson Bob Haus.
A mudslide weakened one of the massive cement columns that supports the bridge which will now have to be demolished and rebuilt.
But how long that will take and how much it will cost are topics as slippery as the mud beneath the failing bridge.
In the meantime, Big Sur residents are trying to get back to business in a community — divided for the foreseeable future — by a canyon and the crumbling bridge that spans it.
In the meantime, a group of monks stranded in Big Sur has started a GoFundMe page to help recoup lost funds for their retreat space, the New Calmaldoli Hermitage.
So far, they’ve raise $126,000.