Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur

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The Bixby Creek Bridge, on the Big Sur coast, is one of the most photographed bridges in California due to its aesthetic design. Big Sur is a rugged and mountainous section of the California central coast, between the Carmel Highlands and San Simeon, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. This coast is known as the longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States. 

The region is protected by the Big Sur Local Coastal Plan of 1986, regarded as one of the most restrictive land use management plans. The program protects viewsheds from the highway and many vantage points, and severely restricts the density of development. About 60 percent of the coastal region is owned by governmental or private agencies which do not allow development of any kind.

The Bixby Bridge was completed in 1932 and is one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world. The bridge is named after early settler Charles Henry Bixby who operated a sawmill on the creek, which for many years was known as Mill Creek. He also cut timber and made shakes, shingles, railroad ties, and trench posts. It was impossible to build a wharf here, so a hoist was used to ferry goods to and from ships anchored slightly offshore. Read more here and here. Click here to explore more of Bixby Creek and the Big Sur coast.

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