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Your latest Big Sur damage update from Big Sur Kate


Photo courtesy Big Sur Kate website

Kate Novoa of Big Sur Kate website fame, posted the following in response to a previous Partisan post about the location of the Pfeiffer Canyon bridge. We’re reposting it here to give it wider audience:

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,

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John Dalessio February 28, 2017, 5:32 pm

    Royal, You are an experienced investigative reporter. Find out how much public money has gone into rebuilding the various parts of Highway 1, south of Rio Road, for the past 15-20 years. Then calculate how much this amounts to per Big Sur household. It might be time to admit that the road is never going to be stable, and consider another form of transport: Say light rail. This would solve the traffic problems during tourist season, and make for a better visitor experience for the visitors. Services foor the residents would have to be made, hopefully with their cooperation and input.

    • James Toy March 1, 2017, 5:33 pm

      Why calculate the cost per household? It’s not just residents who benefit from the highway.

      And FYI, a rail system would be just as vulnerable to landslides as the highway.

  • Ken Ekelund February 28, 2017, 5:51 pm

    John, if you include the 5-10 million tourists, you might get a better figure. We were over run with disaster tourist during the fire. They went home and the residents are left holding a lot of the bag.

    • John Dalessio February 28, 2017, 9:31 pm

      No, Ken. the tourists, and to a minor extent the residents, would be better served by a light rail. The tourists could enjoy the views without being distracted by the sneed to keep their cars on the road. The residents by not having to worry about distracted tourist and some resident (think booze) drivers.
      How the residents could resupply themselves would have to be worked out. Perhaps an Uber franchise in the empty flood plain South of the bridge? Better ideas welcome.

  • Louis MacFarland February 28, 2017, 10:31 pm

    Highway 1 south of Rio Road does seem to be asphalt laid on soft dirt, so it seems would necessitate extensive use of drainage channels into culverts along the eastern edge.

    These are big ticket repairs and not rare events.

  • James Toy March 1, 2017, 5:40 pm

    If the Pfeiffer bridge was built in 1967, what was there before it? I know we were able to drive to Esselen well before 1967.

    And how long did it take to build? The Carmel River bridge was replaced in about 4-6 months after it washed out in 1995.