Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, California


It is 714 feet (218 m) long, 24 feet (7.3 m) wide, over 280 feet (85 m) high and has a main span of 320 feet (98 m).[2] Its two heavy buttresses are unnecessary to support the structure, and later arch bridges such as the Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge omitted them from the design.[3] It is “one of the most photographed features on the West Coast”[4] because of its location along the scenic Central Coast of California, and has frequently been used in automobile commercials. The construction of the bridge began on August 24, 1931 and was completed on October 15, 1932.[5] Local legend has it that during construction, a Chinese laborer was killed in a construction accident. Rather than delay construction with a police investigation, the body was thrown into the fresh concrete of the north pillar. This story is frequently told, but has not been corroborated. Before the bridge was opened on November 27, 1932, coastal travelers endured rough wagon roads over precipitous ridges and valleys. The 30-mile (48 km) journey from Monterey to the Big Sur River valley could take three days round trip. It has since become a regional landmark, and was used in the opening sequences of the television series Then Came Bronson and the film Play Misty for Me. The bridge figures prominently in posters and other publicity material of the Big Sur International Marathon. 

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