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Crews near final phase of Big Sur bridge rebuild

Erika Mahoney/KAZU
Bob Riggins, who works for MNS Engineers, poses for a picture. He's been in the construction business for 35 years and says this project has been a source of pride for him.

The downed bridge that split Big Sur in two is getting closer to completion. It’s been seven months since winter storms damaged it beyond repair and left part of the community stranded. 

A new bridge is taking shape 100 feet above Pfeiffer Canyon in Big Sur. Surrounded by Redwood trees, the deck is a maze of rebar. Construction workers in bright yellow vests and hard hats carefully walk across it. They’re making sure everything is ready for when concrete will be poured in Friday night.

Bob Riggins of MNS Engineers says it's one of the final steps in rebuilding.

"I think when you get ready to pour the deck, everybody gets excited because you know that you’ve done a lot of work to get to that point and it’s kind of the culmination of everything," said Riggins, who is inspecting the bridge for Caltrans. He says the pour will be a tiring 12 hour job. But once done, the bridge can reopen in just a few weeks. 

"I’m really excited and I’m excited for the people that live around here and the businesses because they’ve basically been put out," Riggins said.

Miles McBreen lives south of the closure. He’s been using a hiking trail to get around the downed bridge, so he can visit family in Monterey.

"The solitude is nice too, but it has been getting a little old. So it will be nice to get the bridge open," McBreen said.

There’s no exact day for when the bridge will reopen but Caltrans says it will be in mid-October. About 40 miles south of the bridge, Highway 1 is still closed at Mud Creek because of a massive landslide. Caltrans expects to have the highway rebuilt there by late summer of 2018.

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