update: CalTrans says the bridge will open to the public near the end of the day on Friday, October 13th.
A new bridge is taking shape 100 feet above Pfeiffer Canyon in Big Sur. It has been seven months since winter storms damaged the old one beyond repair and left part of the community stranded.
Surrounded by Redwood trees, the deck of the new bridge is a maze of rebar. Construction workers in bright yellow vests and hard hats carefully walk across it. They’re making sure everything is ready for Friday night. That’s when concrete will be poured in.
Bob Riggins of MNS Engineers says it's one of the final steps in rebuilding.
“I think when you get ready to pour the deck, everybody gets excited because you know that you’ve done a lot of work to get to that point and it’s kind of the culmination of everything,” Riggins says.
Riggins is inspecting the bridge for Caltrans. Like most of the crew members here, he’s been working seven days a week since the old bridge went out in March. Riggins says the pour will be a tiring 12 hour job. But once done, the bridge can reopen in just a few weeks.
“I’m really excited and I’m excited for the people that live around here and the businesses because they’ve basically been put out,” Riggins says.
Miles McBreen lives south of the closure. He’s been using a hiking trail to get around the downed bridge, so he can visit family in Monterey.
“The solitude is nice too, but it has been getting a little old. So it will be nice to get the bridge open,” says McBreen.
There’s no exact day for when the bridge will reopen but Caltrans says it will be in mid-October.
About 40 miles south of the bridge, Highway 1 is still closed at Mud Creek because of a massive landslide. Caltrans expects to have the highway rebuilt there by late summer of 2018.
Check out the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce's list of what's closed, what's open and how to get there.