Caltrans’ 2017 Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge Emergency Replacement

April 18, 2019 1:00 pm

Ruth Fernandes, P.E., Acting State Bridge Engineer, Caltrans; Neil Weller, P.E., Bridge Construction Engineer, Caltrans; David Galarza, P.E., Structures Representative, Caltrans; Jason Wilcox, P.E., Structural Materials Representative, Caltrans; Q&A panel member Kevin Harper, P.E., Senior Bridge Engineer, Caltrans; and Q&A panel member Dorie Mellon, P.E., Senior Bridge Engineer/ABC Specialist, Caltrans

Webinar Documents: 
Caltrans’ 2017 Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge Emergency Replacement - pdf of presentation
Q&A Session - pdf
News - April 18, 2019 - pdf of presentation

Description: In 2017 the California Department of Transportation constructed the new Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 near Big Sur in Monterey County south of San Francisco to replace a concrete bridge that had been weakened by landslides that loosened its foundation. The new 310-ft bridge spans the canyon to eliminate the bridge’s vulnerability to slides. Construction was completed in less than a year, compared to the seven to eight years that would have been required for conventional construction. This presentation describes the removal, design, and replacement of the bridge. It includes identification of the existing conditions, location, and events leading up to the project, followed by the advanced planning study which resulted in the design and construction method finally selected. Field challenges associated with material procurement, access, utilities, and construction are discussed. Finally, the launching and lowering method for this project is described.

Presentation Photos/Graphics:

1) Existing Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge damaged by landslide at Bent 3

2) Emergency removal of damaged bridge

3) Accelerated design and launch method integration

4) Steel procurement and fabrication

5) Steel plate girder delivery and assembly

6) Launching of assembled girders