We're gonna need a bigger wrecking ball. The condemned Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in Big Sur is already crumbling on its own after landslides and winter storms and it has been closed to traffic since February 12, and yet it withstood attempts to demolish it once and for all on Monday. A towering crane dropping a wrecking ball that weighed 6,000 pounds for about three hours hardly made a dent, California Department of Transportation spokesperson Jim Shivers told the Associated Press. Thus there have been no dramatic photos of the whole thing crashing down into the canyon.
BRIDGE DEMOLITION DELAY:— Maureen Naylor (@MaureenKTVU) March 14, 2017
They came in w/ a wrecking ball ...but Cal Trans says it's not hitting the Pfeiffer Bridge deck w/ enough force. pic.twitter.com/jvd22trfNt
"The wrecking ball today just didn't impact the pavement with the power that we had anticipated," said Shivers. The plan was to create a precise break and send debris falling into the canyon below the bridge, to be picked up and moved to a recycling facility from there.
Shivers elaborated to CBS 5 that, “The idea is for it to strike the bridge at a fairly rapid rate with a lot of force, but we’re just not seeing that,”
Workers will resume the task later this week, perhaps with a more forceful approach.
The crane being used to demolish the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge in Big Sur is huge. The 6,000-pound wrecking ball connected to it is not. pic.twitter.com/59McqJKwZG— Tommy Wright (@WrightScribe) March 14, 2017
Cracks are visible in the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, but no holes. Caltrans says it wants a precise demolition of the bridge. pic.twitter.com/pWPPFFRYOP— Tommy Wright (@WrightScribe) March 13, 2017
Meanwhile Caltrans is putting together new plans for a replacement bridge to connect the northern part of Highway 1 to Big Sur, which is now isolated with 400 residents on one side being brought food and supplies by helicopter and occasional envoys from the south the southern route out of Big Sur is expected to reopen on Thursday after sections of highway there were closed by land- and rock slides. A new bridge will take at least nine months to build, but officials hope to make a section of Highway 1 available to local drivers only later in the month. A new footpath can be used by residents only to cross the canyon and reach the northern end, where some residents have left their cars.