Aerial Photos of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge Cracking in Half 2/23/17, by Stan Russell

Original post can be found here:

Photos of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge from a helicopter today.
Flight by Specialized Helicopters, Watsonville
Photography by Stan Russell


Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge


Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge is cracking in half. The drilling rig on the right will be drilling for two weeks to determine the geology of the area to determine how to anchor the foundation of the new bridge. Their report is due March 16, 2017


The crack is now all the way through the bridge. The rebar is holding this bridge up while the support

From the surface of the roadway

The surface of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge is cracking in half and collapsing as shown in this image. Photo by Stan Russell


Another angle to show how much the bridge has sagged while we can do nothing but wait for it to break. Photo by Stan Russell

Notes from the CPOA meeting, 2/23/17

Below are some quick notes from tonight’s two-hour Coast Property Owners Association meeting. I may have left out some important stuff. Please feel free to add any additional info in the comment section. The agenda can be found here.

Update: Official CPOA minutes will be posted on the CPOA website when the draft has been finalized.

Butch started the meeting. He thanked everyone for their help and for participating in the meeting. He also thanked Big Sur Kate – Kate Novoa.

Martha Karstens (Big Sur Fire Brigade) & CPOA:

-All areas are currently covered by Fire. They’re looking into more landing pads for helicopters.

-CHP is letting locals and workers through the roadblock if they have proof of residence or a note with their names and address of where they are going.

-There was a hike today to scout out trail locations on park land. It was not encouraging, but providing trail access is really important!

-A PG&E truck and Blaze Engineering possibly made it around the bridge on private property, but the road was really bad. Possibly on the Chappallet Ranch?

-Tomorrow there will be nine vans that will attempt to navigate from the South to Esalen with supplies. They will go over Paul’s one at a time. Caltrans will stop the convoy if the road shows any signs of stress. The vans will take fifty or so people out from Esalen. More to be evacuated by helicoptor.

-Safeway Carmel will be taking orders and bringing them to the airport to resupply those who are South of the bridge. People should stock up for two weeks. CPOA has the Safeway order forms. Monterey OES will deliver(?). They’re hiring a helicopter company from Paso Robles. Next Friday will be the first day the helicopters can fly.

-Kirk may bring in food from the South to the Deli for people to buy.

-Power was restored to South Pfeiffer.

Senator Monning:

-National Guard will get involved with resupply if Monterey has no other options – Monterey County will need to push for it. National Guard is currently avaliable for medical evacuations.

-Regarding unemployment insurance, people need to sign up online if they’ve been out of work for one week or more. It takes two weeks to process a claim.

-A new trail would be treacherous and steep. John Laird may get involved because it’s on parks land. They’ll explore all options.

-FEMA will provide relief based on the amount of damage there is. Providing your repair estimates will help show FEMA the amount of damage in the area. Contact CPOA with any questions.

Community Foundation:

-The Community Foundation raised almost one million dollars from donations for their special purpose fund. Relief, Recover, Rebuild!

Congressman Panetta:

-Working with FEMA. Most of the damage occurs when there is a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th storm.

-There are “competing emergencies” throughout the region.

-He flew over the area in a helicopter on Wednesday with Sheriff Bernal. He’ll convey the extent of the damage to FEMA.

-He has a 10 am conference call with agencies tomorrow morning. They will stay on track!


-Bixby Bridge is on bedrock. Any slide below the bridge is “surface soil” only.

-Hurricane Point, they are constantly keeping one lane open.

-The Fernwood slide is manageable.

-Four weeks design time for Pfeiffer Creek bridge. A rebuilding schedule may be available in three weeks time. Plans for realigning the highway are ongoing with the Bridge plans.

-Cow Cliffs keeps filling the road with rocks. They are dynamiting the big rocks. Dynamic slide situation.

-Paul’s Slide, the cribbing wall has fallen out and the remaining lane is only eleven feet wide. No heavy vehicles allowed. Nine vans will try to cross tomorrow to get food in and to get people out of Esalen. If the road at Paul’s slide goes, then there is no way in or out.

-Mud Creek has three active slides. One recently moved two feet. Lots of action at Mud Creek. Hopefully, the road is clear for tomorrow. It’s like groundhog day, they clear a culvert one day and it fills in again overnight. Bear Chute has lots of groundwater.

-Nacimiento-Fergusson road will be closed by the County during storms because of the slant of the road. Cars can slide off the edge when there is mud on the road.

Cheryl Goetz (Mid-Coast Fire Brigade):

-CPOA has been a huge help.

-Palo Colorado road was compromised. They’re using quads to traverse the road.

-Power could take a couple days.

-Brian patch and Norm are repairing the road to make it passable for residents, for PG&E and for Public Works to access the area.

-Three homes were damaged by the floods. One is beyond repair.

-Old Coast Road is impassable and compromised at Bill Nye’s.

-Water systems in Palo are out. The whole area is dynamic. Everything is constantly changing.


-Most kids South of the bridge are home schooled or staying with friends in town. The trail will be beneficial to get kids to school.


-Over $900,000 donated. 500 emails, 400 phone calls, 100 site visits. They’re saving money for water systems and road repairs after the storms. Most people chose to rebuild after the wet season so any new infrastructure is not damaged by the flooding. They’ll try to make a little bit go a long way. Some people may need to consider paying out of pocket for repairs. Thank you, everyone!

Update on the status of the fund:
a. Soberanes Fire Relief Fund Total Raised $901,954.14
b. Total Distributed $748,470.63
c. Total Remaining $150,636.51
c.i. Water Fund $28,707
c.ii. Septic Fund $15,271
c.iii. Road Fund $68,173
c.iv. General Fire Fund $38,485
d. Soberanes Children’s Fund – Raised $24,000 and fully distributed

In closing by Senator Monning:

-Provide factual updates. Ask specific questions. We will persevere!

Evacuation by CONVOY at 1 pm ONLY

As per Susana Cruz, Caltrans, due to condition of Paul’s Slide, there will not be an opportunity for re-supply from the south on Friday, February 24, 2017, or Saturday, February 25, 2017. There will be a one-time only opportunity for residents/guests evacuate to the south tomorrow at 1:00 PM from Dolan Point, PM 29.7, south to Ragged Point, in a convoy. Once this convoy clears Dolan Point, Highway 1 will be subject to a hard closure at that location. No traffic, re-supply or other vehicle access will be allowed to travel north.

An emergency contract has been granted to have a soil nail wall installed at Paul’s Slide on a 24×7 basis. Completion of wall is expected in two weeks, at which time, there should be regular access north and south through Paul’s Slide.

At this time all resupply efforts will have to be coordinated through Monterey County Office of Emergency Services. The Big Sur Chamber of Commerce and the Big Sur Coast Property Owners Association have distributed supply needs lists and these should be completed and returned as soon as possible so that they can be provided to the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services.

Businesses return their needs list information to Kirk Gafill at
Everyone else return your needs list information to Patte Kronlund at