Lonely Planet Writer

Motorists may have to take a detour on this iconic California road trip this year

Travellers come from all over to take a scenic drive along California’s coastline, but recent rain storms may have travellers taking a long detour from the iconic views for the foreseeable future.  

Blooming at Bixby Bridge. California Highway 1
Blooming at Bixby Bridge. Image by ©Phitha Tanpairoj/Shutterstock

Following extreme rains, a bridge cracked along the Pacific Coast Highway, or Highway 1, and officials say that it will need to be replaced. It will potentially take six or more months to build a new one, reports the San Francisco Gate.

The famous road trip – most commonly tackled between San Francisco to Los Angeles – passes through Big Sur, which is famous for its stunning coastline and scenery.

However, the damage means travellers will have a hard time visiting some of the most popular spots on the coastal route. The need to replace the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge means that travellers will no longer be able to complete the entire road trip along Highway 1. With the current damage from winter storms along the highway, travellers heading south won’t be able to get past Palo Colorado in Monterey County, and drivers heading north will be stuck at Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo Country, according to the San Francisco Gate.

Coastline on Highway 1 near Big Sur. California Highway 1
Coastline on Highway 1 near Big Sur. Image by ©Kan Khampanya /500px

The bridge is located near to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, the largest state park in Big Sur, which attracts lovers of the outdoors with its redwood groves and waterfalls. The park is located about 13 miles south of Bixby Bridge, the iconic location often captured by photographers wowed by Big Sur’s natural beauty.

To keep up to date on road closures and repairs in the state, check the California Department of Transportation website

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