Archive for the ‘Highway One’ Category

Cambria Bypass

Friday, October 5th, 2012

When Highway One was first opened in 1937, the route went south from San Simeon, along Moonstone Beach Drive and then along Main Street through what is now West Village (called “the flats” at that time), through East Village and past the intersection with Santa Rosa Creek Road to the present intersection with Ardath and then south to Cayucos. As time went on, traffic along the highway increased and soon became too much for the narrow streets of Cambria to bear. (more…)

Coast Highway in the Cambria Area

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

The distribution of the Mexican Land Grants in the early 1840s gave rise to the coast road from San Luis Obispo north, more or less along its current path, to San Carpoforo Creek. It went wherever necessary to connect the residences of the rancho owners. To call it a road is a bit of an exaggeration. In actual fact, it was more of a trail suitable for people on horseback, pack animals and cattle. Carretas (two-wheeled carts drawn by oxen) were mainly used on the rancho where they were first made but could be taken along the road. The continuous passage, especially of cattle, eventually widened the trail until it was passable by wagons. (more…)

Building of Highway One

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Lester Gibson, a state highway engineer, led a pack train through the Big Sur area in 1918 to make the first survey for the location of the Coast Highway. Actual construction of the road began in 1921 when a contract was awarded to the firm of Blake and Heaney to build the portion of Highway One between Piedras Blancas Light Station and Salmon Creek. They completed the project in December of 1924. (more…)

Other Highway One Bridges

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

During the construction of Highway One 32 bridges were built between Carmel and San Simeon, all designed and constructed under the direction of F. W. Panhorst, Bridge Engineer for the State of California. The first bridge to be completed was a small timber structure across Salmon Creek about 19 miles north of San Simeon which was opened in 1928. (more…)

Highway One Modern History

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

For many years after its opening in 1937 highway one between Cambria and Carmel was mainly a seasonal road because it was frequently closed for extended periods of time during the rainy winter months. During World War II traffic along the road was reduced to a trickle due to rationing of both gasoline and rubber and the frequent “blackouts” required as a precaution against enemy aerial attacks. (more…)

Bixby Bridge

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Of the 32 bridges along Highway One between Cambria and Carmel, the largest, most famous, and certainly most photographed is the Bixby Bridge, about 18 miles south of Carmel. This was also the most difficult bridge to build. The bridge is an open spandrel arch design which means it has an open space between the deck and the arch members. The deck of the bridge is 356 feet long and rises about 260 feet above the creek below. The arch is supported by two concrete abutments 330 feet apart which are anchored to the sheer rock walls 140 feet above the creek bed. The south end of the arch has three 40 foot reinforced concrete approach spans and the north end has six, bringing the total length of the bridge to 716 feet. The arch alone required 6,600 cubic yards of concrete and 600,000 pounds of reinforcing steel and, when completed, on November 23, 1932, the Bixby Bridge became the largest arched highway structure in the western states. It is also unusual because it is built on a curve. (more…)

Dr. John Roberts

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Although Dr. John L. D. Roberts never lived in the Cambria area, he was very important to its history. It was he who first conceived the idea for a year-round scenic highway from Carmel to San Simeon.

Born in Osceola, New York on January 16, 1861, Roberts attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York and Union College in Schenectady and then earned a medical degree from the University of the City of New York. In 1887 he moved to California at the suggestion of his uncle, David Houghton, who owned a 160 acre ranch where Seaside and Sand City are currently located. Once he had established a practice, he sent for his fiancé, Edith Maltby, and they were married on October 25, 1887. Dr. Roberts eventually bought the ranch from his uncle for $5,000 and planned a town on the site which became the city of Seaside. He founded the Seaside post office in 1890 where he and his wife served as postmasters until 1932. In 1892 he was elected to the Monterey School Board where he served for 36 years and in 1908 he became a county supervisor, an office he held for 20 years including four years as chairman. (more…)

Opening of Highway One

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The idea of constructing a highway from Carmel to San Simeon originated with Dr. John Roberts shortly before 1900 but funding for what would later be called Highway One was not approved until 1919. The construction was fraught with difficulties and the project took 18 years to come to fruition. At last, on June 27, 1937, the oiled and graveled highway was completed, at a cost of approximately $9,000,000. (more…)