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The Partisan borrowed this Stan Russell photo from the Big Sur Kate blog.

So where is the Pfeiffer Canyon bridge that has failed in Big Sur? If I had the capability, I’d post a map, but I don’t. The newspapers have the capability but, well, well, … I’m not sure why they aren’t printing a map. You might want to ask them.

So here’s a word map and Michael DeLapa has posted a link to a map in the comments section below.  The failed bridge is about a mile south of Big Sur Station and several miles north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. So if you want to go from Carmel to the businesses and attractions on the north end of the community, like the River Inn and Fernwood,  you’re dependent on the status of various mudslides. As of late Saturday, things were pretty much closed down south of Palo Colorado but that could change. If you want to go to the Big Sur Bakery, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park or Nepenthe from the north, forget about it until the bridge is fixed.

The best source of information about Big Sur, weather conditions, road closures, etc., is the Big Sur Kate website.

When you can get there, you should go. Go see the sights and buy some stuff from the stores and food from the restaurants. They’re going to need your help. Just a couple months ago, the nice folks of Big Sur were complaining about crowds of tourists blocking the roads, especially on the weekends. Those crowds are looking kinda good at the moment.

Hope that helps. If I’m off at all, please someone correct me.  Kate?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Judy Karas February 25, 2017, 2:30 pm

    Thanks for the information. I was just today asking Elena at Sweet Elena’s about the location of the bridge. I had assumed it was farther south than it is. So sad to hear about the businesses that are stranded from the north….I will send for a gift certificate to Deetjun’s for a young relative’s wedding gift and plan to visit several of the restaurants down there when the roads reopen.

    • Jeanne Turner February 25, 2017, 3:20 pm

      Yes, I have also been wondering where that bridge is. So reported closures at Palo Colorado and at Ragged Point are probably slides. Some photos on Kate’s blog indicate that part of the highway may be in the ocean pretty soon.

  • Jean February 25, 2017, 2:31 pm

    Royal, this is very helpful. Lots of people have been asking what’s accessible.

  • Barry Kilzer February 25, 2017, 3:01 pm

    I believe the Big Sur Bakery along with the Post Office is on the south side of the bridge and not open.

  • Marsha February 25, 2017, 3:11 pm

    Unfortunately Big Sur Bakery and Big Sur Deli are south of the bridge and not reachable from the north. The failing bridge is just south of the road to Pfeiffer Beach – Sycamore Canyon Road.

  • Jean February 25, 2017, 3:16 pm

    Barry and my map, agree.

  • Pha February 25, 2017, 3:25 pm

    Daughter and I tried to reach Big Sur Bakery a week ago. Road was closed immediately after Big Sur Station, before getting to the bakery.

  • Michael D. DeLapa February 25, 2017, 3:29 pm
  • bill leone February 25, 2017, 4:33 pm

    What Big Sur needs is a regular Ferry Service from PG, Monterey & Carmel, just like the Ferry from Brooklyn to Staten Island, before they built the Verrazano Bridge.

  • John Gaglioti February 25, 2017, 4:39 pm
  • Karl Pallastrini February 25, 2017, 6:33 pm

    Royal is pretty close to accurate with this post. We have property on Long Ridge in the Palo Colorado Canyon. The property survived the fire….but not this winter. Rocky Creek has undermined the PC Canyon road to a point where the old redwood braces are exposed, and some heading down the creek. The washout of the road past the Mid-Coast fire department was due to a culvert that was under-sized and unattended over the years by the County. Several years of draught probably put the Canyon Road on the back burner. Palo Colorado does not get attention that the Coast Highway does, and that is understandable. It does make the residents wonder….if the county roads were out in Pebble Beach…would the response be any better?

    • James Toy February 26, 2017, 12:19 am

      Karl, the roads in Pebble Beach are not owned by the county. They’re owned by the Pebble Beach Company and are funded by the gate fees.

  • david fairhurst February 25, 2017, 6:53 pm

    Hey! Don’t forget all us out in Carmel Valley. Cauchauga grade road washed out, when it gets repaired, who knows….There was a lot of worry about the Jamesburg/Cauchauga bridge being washed out too, but thank goodness it didn’t. There have been a lot of other closed roads from the “village” out to Greenfield over the last week but all are currently reopened.

  • Lloyd Jones February 25, 2017, 7:27 pm

    Indeed, thanks for this post. At the beginning of my short (44 year) tenure in Big Sur, businesses would close for a portion of the winter. There were no tourists. Nepenthe and River Inn open only at the bar. Locals bathing at Esalen. Nobody had money, but the coast was ours. No internet, no satellite TV, so children knew how to converse; we all played dominoes and cribbage and we read many books thanks to Kay Short. Then came the drought of the mid-seventies and the coast got used to year round visitors. Locals made more money but experienced less community. That has been the rule ever since with the exception of a couple of rude slides in 1983. The world wants to come to Big Sur and for a moment they can’t get there. However, this wonderful meeting of land and sea will rise again for the world to pass through. In the meantime, go as far as you can and support the community as you can. They are worth it.

  • Anne Canright February 25, 2017, 8:54 pm

    The bridge is about 16 miles north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP, and I expect a whole lot of somethin’ has happened between this bridge and that park. Deetjen’s (about 2 miles south of the bridge) posted a plea for financial assistance yesterday on Facebook (http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/02/anti-trump-movement-urges-hawaii-politicians-to-take-a-stand/).

  • Howard P. Strohn February 25, 2017, 10:08 pm

    I remember the Big Sur winters like Lloyd described them. The bars only had seasonal hard liquor licenses, from Jan.1 to Apr.1 they could only serve beer and wine. I remember playing a lot of dominoes with a glass of wine.

  • James Toy February 26, 2017, 12:12 am

    It took me awhile to figure out where it was, too. It’s been awhile since I’ve driven down there, and I don’t even remember a bridge in that area. I’ve since posted on my website that it’s roughly half way between Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Ventana Inn.

    Does anyone know when that bridge was built? It looks more modern than most bridges along the coast, which suggests that this isn’t the first time a bridge has failed there.

    • Bigsurkate February 28, 2017, 11:37 am

      That Pfeiffer Canyon bridge was built in 1967. Expectations are 1-2 years to rebuild it. There are also some major problem areas to the south, specifically Cow Cliffs, just north of Big Creek; Paul’s Slide, just south of Lucia, which will be completely closed for installation of a soil nail wall, which will take approximately 2 weeks (unknown start date); and finally the gift-that-keeps-giving, Mud Creek. In between these three major ones, are numerous others both north and south. One serious one to the north is between Hurricane Point and the Little Sur River. The pavement is cracking and giving way, as well as experiencing a slide. Numerous private roads: Clear Ridge, Apple Pie Ridge, North Coast Ridge Road, for example are non-existent in spots. Cachagua and Palo Colorado Canyon are just two of the county roads destroyed, both heavily impacted by their constant use by large and heavy equipment during the Soberanes Fire. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road closed to all but locals (between 6 PM and 7 AM) and emergency vehicles yesterday for 2-4 weeks for repairs. I can’t speak to other parts of the county, as these are the only areas I can keep up with, and that is not easy when it has been ever changing. We have 2 weeks of dry weather. Let’s make the most of it,

  • Karl Pallastrini February 26, 2017, 6:33 pm

    To James Toy…I stand corrected. Question, does the PBC actually have a public works department that is capable of major repairs to the infrastructure? Having said that, I too remember the old days in Big Sur, when Eselen was Slates Hot Springs. Nothing like sneaking into the springs late at night on the weekends, and never having been caught.