Demolition delayed on crumbling Big Sur bridge

BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) -- Officials say demolition work has been suspended on a crumbling bridge along the California coast that stranded residents in the popular Big Sur area and closed part of iconic Highway 1.

California Department of Transportation spokesman Jim Shivers says a giant crane dropped a 6,000-pound wrecking ball on the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge for about three hours Monday, but it only gently tapped the span.

He says engineers are trying to figure out how the wrecking ball can have the needed force to demolish the overpass. Work will resume later this week. 

Heavy rain damaged the bridge beyond repair, stranding more than 400 residents on one side. Helicopters are bringing in food, and people can use a footpath.

The department says the bridge will take at least nine months to rebuild, keeping tourists from the community known for luxury spas, posh hotels and scenic retreats.