Pfeiffer Canyon (Gulch) Bridge Historical Documents

Don Harlan’s younger brother Stan, now 90, went to Sacramento at some point and found these historical documents he sent to me. Before it was named Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge (in 1968) it was called Pfeiffer Gulch,  which Steve Harper reminded me also. In Monterey County Place Names, it is called Pfeiffer Gulch. It was previously called Burnt Bridge Creek according to Ester Pfeiffer Ewoldsen. (Monterey County Place Names, p. 392.) It will be interesting to see what the cost of replacement will be – at least 10 times as much, I venture.


10 thoughts on “Pfeiffer Canyon (Gulch) Bridge Historical Documents

  1. thanks, kate, for these now old documents about our fatally injured pfeiffer canyon bridge….so interesting how a document ordinary when it is issued becomes precious over time… the way, in the middle 70’s i worked on the replacing of the redwood timber bridge over kirk creek with it’s current concrete version…..the redwood in the old bridge was still in prime condition when we took it down….when i asked the state inspector why we were replacing a perfectly good, and beautiful, redwood timber bridge his comment was that the redwood bridge would last another 50 years, but the new concrete one would last 100 years….so, it was economics that brought the chainsaws and bolt cutters to kirk creeks’ redwood bridge, and aspects of time were a part of the formula that swept it away…

  2. Interesting that the Bridge location is referenced as 46 plus miles from the San Louis Obispo county line…rather than (x) number of miles from the City of Monterey, or Carmel. Cal Trans has a major office in SLO, and perhaps they were operating out of there back in the day. Back in the day they were not Cal Trans, California Division of Highways. Just a footnote

  3. Cal Trans still has their District 5 office in SLO, and in fact, just built a new HQ bldg. I suspect that all N/S freeways start their numbering at the southern end at the county line. Be interesting to Google it, Karl.


  4. Thanks for correcting the misnomer, Kate. In my day it was Pfeiffer Gulch and I discussed that with Steve Harper.

  5. I did not see a time frame for the beginning of construction and completion. Nice to know for reference to new construction time. I seriously doubt that it will be quicker although with modern technology it should be

  6. This is an entirely different critter, as the new bridge will probably have to be anchored in bedrock, and the failed one was a “spread” bridge without the anchoring. So however long it took in 1968 will have no relevance to how long it will take in 2017.

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