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Old 02-22-17, 07:28 PM   #1
niknak
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PCH warning: Bridge closed at Big Sur on Hwy 1

I just read that the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge is permanently closed due to damage to its support columns from recent land slides. If you plan to ride down the Pacific Coast this year you won't be able to ride on Hwy 1 near Big Sur in California. The bridge needs to be replaced. That could take at least a year but probably longer.

There are a couple of ways to skip this section:

1) Take Amtrak from Salinas to Paso Robles or San Luis Obispo and head back to the coast.

2) From Carmel take Carmel Valley Road inland. There are a couple of options to get back to the coast, including some dirt roads. This section is very remote, so do some research if you plan to give it a shot.
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Old 02-22-17, 07:39 PM   #2
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Glad I rode through there in December. The rains started the day after I finished my trip.

Yeah, the bridge is pretty much toast.

https://www.google.com/amp/www.sfgat...d-10951909.php

Looks like it may collapse on its own.

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Old 02-23-17, 10:59 AM   #3
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If I remember correctly, that bridge spans a pretty small gulch. You could ride up to the bridge, climb down into the ravine, then carry your bike back up on the other side. Might take a few trips up to carry panniers and bike separately, but it should be doable.

EDIT: Or I might be crazy.
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Old 02-23-17, 12:16 PM   #4
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Glad I rode through there in December. The rains started the day after I finished my trip.

Yeah, the bridge is pretty much toast.

https://www.google.com/amp/www.sfgat...d-10951909.php
Meh. That'll buff right out.
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Old 02-23-17, 12:19 PM   #5
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If I remember correctly, that bridge spans a pretty small gulch. You could ride up to the bridge, climb down into the ravine, then carry your bike back up on the other side. Might take a few trips up to carry panniers and bike separately, but it should be doable.

EDIT: Or I might be crazy.
That may be possible. I read on the Adventure Cycling forums that they may cut a trail for peds/cyclists to get across. Until someone attempts it and posts their success it's a bit risky to ride that far south only to have to backtrack to Carmel.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:38 PM   #6
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Yeah, just HTFU (and wear a helmet) ...



Butt perhaps resist the temptation to play tourist ...


Last edited by wgscott; 02-23-17 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 02-24-17, 03:13 PM   #7
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I'll be passing by that area in mid April on my way from Florence, OR to San Diego.

Here's my route if they don't get a trail figured out. Parallels 101 while skipping most of it.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19098798

Some other people suggested taking King City to Jolon on Jolon Road, then Mission Road past Fort Hunter Liggett, then Nacimiento Fergusson Road to Hwy1. There's a 2800 foot climb in the way, though... 😒😅

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19173935

I will not be taking that route. It's a popular motorcycle route and I watched a couple videos of guys on bikes taking corners aggressively. I know I would be tempted on my motorcycle.

I would just hate to be on the receiving end of a motorcycle after a blind right hand turn. Not worth it to me.
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Old 02-24-17, 03:21 PM   #8
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If I remember correctly, that bridge spans a pretty small gulch. You could ride up to the bridge, climb down into the ravine, then carry your bike back up on the other side. Might take a few trips up to carry panniers and bike separately, but it should be doable.

EDIT: Or I might be crazy.
Comment from another site makes me wonder...

"No you can't ... not even locals are permitted to attempt crossing that canyon that is a confluence of two creeks into a canyon or gorge that eventually leads to the west coast's only continuously flowing water fall into the ocean : McVay falls.

You'll just have to wait..."
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Old 02-24-17, 03:25 PM   #9
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Aerial photos of damage:

https://blogbigsur.wordpress.com/201...in-half-22317/
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Old 02-24-17, 04:01 PM   #10
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A shame. One of the more beautiful sections. This is really going to hurt tourism in the area.


The good news it is not one of the works of are along the way. They are irreplaceable.
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Old 02-24-17, 04:19 PM   #11
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Yea, there are many WPA, Built Bridges on the Pacific Coast Route.
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Old 02-24-17, 06:30 PM   #12
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no matter what: will = way
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Old 02-24-17, 07:52 PM   #13
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What? That the 101 instead of one of the most beautiful rides down the coast? That bridge will take a Friggin' year to build.
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Old 02-24-17, 10:50 PM   #14
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Pffft ... STEEL is REAL
There is a bridge here that was built the same time and material as the Titanic. ha
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Old 02-25-17, 01:38 AM   #15
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As best I can deduce from the bridge picture it appears to be crossable on a bicycle. I don’t think any bike and rider would bring it down. Baring a human guard or some high tech barrier turning people away I’d say cross the bridge and enjoy the Big Sur.
I’ve cross a couple of bridges officially closed to traffic. The Beebe Bridge on Hwy 97 crossing the Columbia River in Central Washington was closed due to a truck taking out a main support beam. The Highway Patrol told me the day before that pedestrians were allowed to walk across in the early morning and evening. When I got there in the late morning no one said boo as I rode across. On another ride workers were actively drilling and pouring concrete to shore up the Martins Ferry Bridge crossing the Klamath River at Weitchpec, California. I waited until a member of the Yurok tribe in a pickup truck moved the K rails and I followed him though the barricade and across the bridge without incident. Needless to say there wasn’t much traffic on the other side of either bridge.
The last picture is of an earlier bridge at Martins Ferry that is definitely not crossable.
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Old 02-25-17, 08:57 AM   #16
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As best I can deduce from the bridge picture it appears to be crossable on a bicycle. I don’t think any bike and rider would bring it down. Baring a human guard or some high tech barrier turning people away I’d say cross the bridge and enjoy the Big Sur.
I’ve cross a couple of bridges officially closed to traffic. The Beebe Bridge on Hwy 97 crossing the Columbia River in Central Washington was closed due to a truck taking out a main support beam. The Highway Patrol told me the day before that pedestrians were allowed to walk across in the early morning and evening. When I got there in the late morning no one said boo as I rode across. On another ride workers were actively drilling and pouring concrete to shore up the Martins Ferry Bridge crossing the Klamath River at Weitchpec, California. I waited until a member of the Yurok tribe in a pickup truck moved the K rails and I followed him though the barricade and across the bridge without incident. Needless to say there wasn’t much traffic on the other side of either bridge.
The last picture is of an earlier bridge at Martins Ferry that is definitely not crossable.
No you cannot get across the bridge. This is from the Big Sur blog, linked above.

Quote:
SR-1 FULL CLOSURE CONTINUES–RAGGED PT (SLO PM 72.87) TO JUST SOUTH OF PALO COLORADO (PM 61.5).
*IMPORTANT NOTE – CALTRANS PFEIFFER CYN. BRIDGE (PM 45.5) UPDATE:
· DUE TO EXTREME SAFETY CONCERNSAND THE BRIDGE’S DYNAMIC INSTABILITY, EVERYONE needs to STAY CLEARand not get within 100 feet of either side of the bridge. This closure will be enforced.
· Drilling began yesterday, Thursday and will continue for approximately two weeks. Caltrans geotechnical and bridge experts from around the state are working as quickly as possible toward the bridge replacement. Drilling investigation findings are targeted for March 17. You can see the drilling rig in these photos.
· On the maintenance side, our goal is to make progress with the slides to regain as much access from the south as possible. We are also working to keep the roadway passable from the north to just north of the Pfeiffer Cyn Bridge—for locals only.
https://blogbigsur.wordpress.com/
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Old 02-25-17, 09:36 AM   #17
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There is a facebook page where you can get updated information.

https://www.facebook.com/BigSurInformation

There is more cycling related discussion on adventure cycling's forum.

Pacific Coast Route Section #4, maps 47-49
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Old 02-25-17, 09:41 AM   #18
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Someone with a boat could make some money ferrying cyclists between beach-heads.
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Old 02-25-17, 09:49 AM   #19
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I'll be passing by that area in mid April on my way from Florence, OR to San Diego.

Here's my route if they don't get a trail figured out. Parallels 101 while skipping most of it.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19098798

Some other people suggested taking King City to Jolon on Jolon Road, then Mission Road past Fort Hunter Liggett, then Nacimiento Fergusson Road to Hwy1. There's a 2800 foot climb in the way, though... 😒😅

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19173935

I will not be taking that route. It's a popular motorcycle route and I watched a couple videos of guys on bikes taking corners aggressively. I know I would be tempted on my motorcycle.

I would just hate to be on the receiving end of a motorcycle after a blind right hand turn. Not worth it to me.

I did PCH - Nacamiento-Ferguson - King City a bunch of years ago, it was remote, beautiful, empty of traffic and very, very steep on the west side. NOte there are other slides being repaired in the area and N-F road is also under construction right now, so you should probably plan on being flexible in your route and not count on being able to use N-F to the coast.

To access, i would cut over to San Juan Bautista further north, take Cienega Road to Hwy 25/ Hollister-Paicines - Pinnacles (camping off route), and then ?? and stay in the inland valley rather than sticking near 101. services will be limited (do your own research, i haven't ridden this south of King City).

TO those saying "whatever, i'm just gonna hike across it" - $5000 fine to ignore the closure, it's going to be an active construction zone, and probably actually dangerous. So, that's my $0.02, un-asked for.
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Old 02-25-17, 11:00 AM   #20
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I did PCH - Nacamiento-Ferguson - King City a bunch of years ago, it was remote, beautiful, empty of traffic and very, very steep on the west side. NOte there are other slides being repaired in the area and N-F road is also under construction right now, so you should probably plan on being flexible in your route and not count on being able to use N-F to the coast.

To access, i would cut over to San Juan Bautista further north, take Cienega Road to Hwy 25/ Hollister-Paicines - Pinnacles (camping off route), and then ?? and stay in the inland valley rather than sticking near 101. services will be limited (do your own research, i haven't ridden this south of King City).

TO those saying "whatever, i'm just gonna hike across it" - $5000 fine to ignore the closure, it's going to be an active construction zone, and probably actually dangerous. So, that's my $0.02, un-asked for.
Thanks for the 2 cents! I appreciate it and will check out that other route you mentioned.

My hesitation on N-F was based off a couple videos on YouTube that showed some decent traffic on the twisty section between Jolon and the coast. Might be different in mid April though.

And my smarter-than-me girlfriend suggested hitching a ride with a pickup on that section. Never occurred to me because I never think about not riding the whole thing myself, whereas she told me she thinks about hitching every hill that we go up. Haha.
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Old 02-25-17, 11:05 AM   #21
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Someone with a boat could make some money ferrying cyclists between beach-heads.
There is a helicopter available at $375. I'd hate to have to pay it, but if the option was to turn around, it would be tempting.
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Old 02-25-17, 11:29 AM   #22
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There is a helicopter available at $375. I'd hate to have to pay it, but if the option was to turn around, it would be tempting.

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Old 02-25-17, 11:36 AM   #23
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There is a helicopter available at $375. I'd hate to have to pay it, but if the option was to turn around, it would be tempting.
I read that it was $780 per flight and you could split it with two other people in the 3rd and 4th seats, but there was no luggage except what you could carry in your lap. I guess you could go by yourself and put your bike in back.
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Old 02-25-17, 11:44 AM   #24
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The crack was originally discovered by a hiker going under the bridge, suggesting there is a trail. My guess is once all the rain subsides, and the hill stops sliding out, that a trail option will be available, at least unofficially.
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Old 02-25-17, 11:55 AM   #25
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The loss of this bridge may be a good thing for cyclists. Odds are the locals will cobble together some kind of jeep track into and across the canyon to get connected to the outside world. It might take the form of a walking trail, where they drive to it on one side, walk across and continue in a vehicle staged on the other side.

So getting across with a bike shouldn't be overly difficult after a little while.

However, there's an upside. Traffic along ghat stretch will be very low, or nearly non-existent, making this a long, wide bike trail for the nest year or so.
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