Demolition underway of Big Sur's Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge

BIG SUR, Calif. (KGO) -- Caltrans crews started demolishing the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 near Big Sur Monday.

Work began at 7 a.m. first with the removal of the railing, and then a giant wrecking ball tried to bring down the bridge but was unsuccessful.

Crews condemned the bridge last month after storms caused it to crack, buckle, and start sliding down the hill.

A 63-mile stretch of Highway 1 between Ragged Point and Palo Colorado is closed indefinitely because of the damage.

RELATED: Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge remains closed due to deterioration

The demolition is the first step to restoring access to the Big Sur community.

The small coastal gem has been cut off from the rest of the world, relying on helicopter air drops for supplies.

Caltrans officials say the new bridge will be nothing like the old one.

"The new bridge will have no columns. It'll have two abutments, so it'll be a single 310-foot span," said Caltrans spokesperson David Galarza.
According to Caltrans, it will take about 10 months to complete the new bridge, which means tourism in Big Sur will take a huge hit.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Big Sur businesses all remain closed heading into the tourism season.

Highway 1 will remain closed indefinitely between Palo Colorado in Monterey County, south to Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County.
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