Two stops along Big Sur coast

Two Caltrans projects halt cars on Highway 1 through Big Sur.  The northern one consists of maintenance and improvements at Rocky Creek Bridge.  The southern project consists of two constructions, both well-coordinated to appear as one project; a bridge at Pitkins Curve and a rock shed at Rain Rocks.

Project #1 – Rocky Creek Bridge

Along the northern Big Sur coast, about a 1/2 hour south of Carmel, automobiles and bicycles are controlled, by stoplight, to one-way passing on the northern and southern approaches to Rocky Creek Bridge.  You’ll wait only a few minutes at the light while the opposing traffic clears, then be allowed to pass through.  The Rocky Creek Bridge job isn’t listed (as of today) on CalTrans Road Conditions, but its roadwork is mentioned in a February 2012, District 5 Status of Projects.  CalTrans is stabilizing the roadway, widening the shoulders, upgrading guardrails, and installing a retaining wall.  Judging by the multiple scaffolds, it appears that the bridge, built in 1932, is undergoing a multi-point inspection.

Projects #2 & #3 – Pitkins Curve Bridge and Rain Rocks Rock Shed

You’ll wait about ten minutes at the site of Pitkins Curve and Rain Rocks, along the southern coast of Big Sur near Lucia.  You can shut off your engine and relax, while listening to ocean breezes through your car’s open windows.  Rain Rocks Rock Shed and Pitkins Curve Bridge is listed on CalTrans Road Conditions, but without any description of how amazing is this two-in-one project.  Pitkins Bridge and Rain Rocks Rock Shed perch atop the shifting scree of greywacke within the narrowest construction jobsite ever visited.  Steel netting is draped over the rockface to contain ceaseless falling rocks.  The netting was initially draped with helicopter assistance, then climbers fasten it tightly in place.  The rock shed will allow for cars and bicyclists to safely travel this passage and the bridge will connect the rock shed to the northern roadbed.


Slow for the Cone Zone.

This post written by Anneliese Agren

4 thoughts on “Two stops along Big Sur coast

  1. Thank you Kate. I swear I did my homework, but as read from this Traffic Management Plan, I thought it was a singular project; plus, the two abut geographically. Thank you for providing the local info.

    I think it’s Golden State Bridge for both, as I totally noticed all the GSB equipment and trucks on site, but, maybe they’re just there for Stage IV rock shed work.

    This project’s rock shed and bridge are just as exciting as the Devil’s Slide Tunnel project, perhaps more so, as we can see the work on the drive-by. With the DS Tunnel, all work is on the inside.

    Much coordination indeed for two separate projects, and it makes sense to bid them separate. It’s amazing how narrow is the job site, through which endless streams of cars pass all day. I had to come for a visit to see it for myself. 🙂

    I’ve made an update in language to the post.

  2. Both two places and two projects, abutting each other. GSB ( Golden State Bridge Company) doing the bridge over Pitkins Curve, and AIS (?) doing the rock shed at Rain Rocks. Or GSB is doing both jobs, and AIS does the draping and climbing only. Not sure of this point. I do know the design teams were different and projects bidded out separately, but GBS may have gotten both. I was on the aesthetic design committee for the rock shed. AIS does do the draping and climbing, and MAY be doing the rock shed, i just dont know, but will find out.

    It looks like one project just passing through it, as it has had to be well coordinated to keep traffic flowing through that area. One of these days, I will make sure all the posts re this project are on the page I created, but may have to wait to retire next year.

  3. Hi Kate! I’m fine with corrections. Please specify though, the two locations or two projects, only because from my drive through, there is one job site with a bridge leading to the rock shed. So are these two projects abutting each other there, at the curve, leading into the shed? Oh I’m so confused.

  4. Ani, Rain Rocks and Pitkins Curve are two separate places with two separate projects, although both are very close together. Rain Rocks is getting the new rock shed, and Pitkins Curve is getting the bridge. They are not one and the same. Sorry to correct you, but they are very different.

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