Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: Bridges – Big Sur CA

City:
Big Sur, CA

Site Type:
Parks and Recreation, Park Roads and Bridges

New Deal Agencies:
Work Relief Programs, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

Started:
1936

Completed:
1937

Quality of Information:
Good

Marked:
No

Site Survival:
Partially Extant

Description

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made extensive improvements to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on the central California coast, developing it for public recreational use. The state parks commission acquired the land in 1933, but had no funds for development.  The CCC worked in the park from 1933 to 1941, but the sources do not always specify exact dates for each improvement. 

Probably the most impressive structure built by the CCC enrollees is the road bridge across the Big Sur river to Weyland campground. It consists of two huge stone piers and a deck of redwood logs supported by steel cables.  This bridge was constructed in 1936-37 and remained intact until 1977, when the deck was removed. Happily, the deck was replaced by an exact replica in 1991, which still stands.  The stone piers are original.

A small stone bridge can be found behind group picnic area B, looking lost in the leaves and shrubbery.  This was a bridge across the outlet from the swimming pond the CCCs had built in 1940, which was fed by a diversion dam on the Big Sur River.  The dam was removed and the pond drained in the late 1960s.

Engbeck (2002, p 90) reports that the CCCs built another bridge across the Big Sur river “northwest of Camp Big Sur” (the CCC camp), which we believe to have been a footbridge near what is now the main campground (the probable site of Camp Big Sur). A modern footbridge was erected there in the 2000s, probably replacing a CCC bridge (this needs further confirmation).

Source notes

Joseph H. Engbeck, Jr., By the People, For the People: The Work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in California State Parks, 1933-1941. (Sacramento: California State Parks, 2002), pp. 89-94.

 

Site originally submitted by Richard Walker on February 19, 2023.
Additional contributions by Douglas Dowd.

Location Info


Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Big Sur, CA 93920

Coordinates: 36.2457290, -121.7733

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