Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Bridges

Big Sur, CA

A new 160 foot span pedestrian bridge and a 130 foot span vehicle bridge are the centerpieces of an infrastructure improvement plan at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The new bridges will help reduce pedestrian and vehicle congestion and provide a much needed fire access to the Park’s busy campgrounds. The premanufactured steel bridge superstructures use a special weathering steel to provide a maintenance free finish along with superior structure longevity in a relatively moist coastal redwood climate. Buehler selected base isolation on the bridge abutment supports to help mitigate seismic load effects generated by earthquake faults directly beneath the bridges. Abutments were sized as deepened bearing footings to mitigate river flooding scour and elevated to accommodate a higher freeboard space for debris flows beneath the bridge during a 100-year flood. 

Quick Facts

  • Size: 150 foot span pedestrian bridge; 130 foot span vehicle bridge
  • Architect: California Department of Parks and Recreation
  • The Big Sur River was identified as a tectonic plate block offset boundary
  • Construction was timed around endangered salmon spawning cycle
  • Construction Cost: $2,500,000
  • Contractor: Arthurs Contracting, Inc.
  • Dewatering was used to excavate abutment footings below the water level in river

Photo credit: Buehler Engineering, Inc.