Last spring, California's iconic Pacific Coast Highway—the main artery running through scenic Big Sur—suffered a mighty blow. Following a winter of torrential rains, two monster landslides buried a quarter-mile segment of Highway 1 and decimated the only bridge connecting its northern and southern sections. Save for a single access footpath, the debris left residents stranded, hotels scrambling to retain guests (Post Ranch Inn went so far as to offer helicopter transfers in), and road trippers wondering just how long—months, years even—it would take before Cali's beloved PCH would once again be open for business.
The answer: not long at all! Last Friday, the brand-new Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge opened to much fanfare, linking Big Sur's southern and northern sections to cars (and pedestrians) for the first time since the incident.
The $24 million structure, which officials say would have typically taken up to several years to finish, was wrapped up in just eight months. It spans 310 feet over the canyon and has no support columns—a smart effort to save it from future slides.
There's still work to be done, as crews race to build a new road 37 miles south (the section that was wiped out by the Mud Creek slide), but signs are pointing up for a region that's in need of some positive news.
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