Longest Steel Bridge over a Canyon in California
BIG SUR, MONTEREY COUNTY– Caltrans along with state leaders and local partners celebrated the completion of the State Route 1 Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge project, just eight months after the bridge was damaged by harsh winter storms. The new $24 million single-span steel bridge replaces the 49-year-old concrete bridge which was demolished in March.
“We’re very excited to bring vital highway access back to locals and visitors only seven months after the former bridge was demolished,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “It’s a project that would normally take several years to complete,” he added.
This bridge was recognized as an Accelerated Bridge Construction project, new to California and the Big Sur Community. Dozens of bridge workers worked long hours, mostly 6-7 days a week since the end of March to complete the bridge. The signature feature of the new structure is 15 steel girders fabricated in Vallejo, weighing 62 tons each that span the rugged, 310-foot canyon. Its design includes no support columns, eliminating structural vulnerability from future slide activity. The new bridge has 12-foot lanes and 5-foot outside shoulders making it accessible for all travelers.
The slide at Pfeiffer Canyon was one of three major landslides that impacted State Route 1 in Monterey County due to record rainfall this past winter. Paul’s Slide, located 24 miles south of Pfeiffer Canyon remains active with public access provided by a temporary traffic signal. Closer to the San Luis Obispo/Monterey County line is the Mud Creek slide, which totaled over 5 million cubic yards of material. A realignment project at that location has begun with completion of a new roadway expected by late summer of 2018.
The prime contractor for the $24 million Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge emergency replacement project was Golden State Bridge Company in Benicia, CA.