HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

Divider

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Advertisements:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

Divider

Tower Bridge

   


Tower Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: April 5, 2013
View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
M Street Over Sacramento River
Location
Sacramento and West Sacramento: Sacramento County, California and Yolo County, California
Structure Type
Metal 8 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Movable: Vertical Lift (Span Drive) and Approach Spans: Metal 7 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1934 By Builder/Contractor: Consolidated Steel Company of Los Angeles, California and Engineer/Design: Alfred W. Eichler

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
209 Feet (63.7 Meters)
Structure Length
738 Feet (224.9 Meters)
Roadway Width
51.8 Feet (15.8 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 7 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
22 0021

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View Historical Articles About This Bridge

View The National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form For This Bridge

This bridge is among the most beautiful and unique vertical lift bridges to be found, and it has more to do with the bridge's appearance rather than its design.

From a design standpoint, the bridge is a span-driven vertical lift bridge with a Pratt through truss lift span, which includes counterweights with counter chains. It should be noted however that the towers themselves do not have legs (posts) that angle outward toward the base, which makes this bridge different from many vertical lift bridges. On either end of the lift span is a Pratt through truss approach span, which is rigidly attached to the towers, a practice that was not uncommon among lift spans that include approach spans. There are also a number of built-up stringer approach spans leading up to the truss spans. However, what makes this bridge unique is that it was designed under the guidance and supervision of an architect, specifically, Alfred Eichler. Eichler came up with the proposed appearance of the bridge which bridge engineers then proceeded to design. The effect of having an architect guiding the design process is strikingly obvious with this bridge's unique and pleasing appearance, that has a strong Streamline Moderne influence, which is a form of Art Deco.

The bracing on the tower posts was completely hidden by decorative solid metal panels. These panels also conceal the counterweight and the counter chains. The faces of the towers have an "x-bracing" that functions similar to many lift bridges, but has been carefully designed so that from the exterior, a flat surface is visible, hiding the flanges and webs of the actual bracing. The top of the tower face has vertical openings. The very tops of the tower are capped off with steel that hides most of the sheaves and matches up with the other covers on the towers. The bridge tender house of the bridge which also doubles as the machinery room is a low-lying structure with a decorative copula on top, positioned on top of the lift span. The lift span and approach truss spans are distinguished by a minimalized use of lattice and v-lacing, likely an attempt to maintain the clean, streamlined appearance found in the towers. The other key distinguishing feature in the trusses is the portal and sway bracing that is a unique arched design. Original ornate riveted lighting is present on the bridge. The approaches to the bridge have two pairs of concrete pillars, with the outermost pair bearing a casting of "1935" at the top.

The on-site contractor for the bridge was George Pollock and Company of Sacramento, California, however a plaque on the bridge points to the builder of the steel structures for the bridge, which was Consolidated Steel Company of Los Angeles, California.

It is interesting to compare this bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge because both bridges have towers with have bracing covered up and/or carefully designed to maintain the Art Deco appearance.

The bridge replaced a through truss swing bridge. A temporary vertical lift bridge was built to serve traffic during construction of the existing vertical lift bridge. The bridge carries a road that dramatically leads right to the State Capitol building, which likely accounts for why a great deal of effort was put toward building an aesthetically pleasing bridge.

The bridge originally carried railroad traffic in the center, with vehicular traffic to the sides, but this was ended in 1963.

The bridge was originally painted silver, but since 1976 has been painted an ochre to give it the appearance of gold. The gold color suits the impressive landmark appearance of the bridge quite well. The concrete pillars on the approaches were originally painted blue, but this wore off long ago and the pillars are not just the color of plain concrete.

Divider

Photos and Videos: Tower Bridge

Available Photo Galleries and Videos

Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.

 
View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of overview and detail photos. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Historical Photos and Drawings
Original / Full Size Photos
Historical photos showing previous bridge, and construction of current bridge. Also includes architect drawings of bridge. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery
Historical Photos and Drawings
Mobile Optimized Gallery
Historical photos showing previous bridge, and construction of current bridge. Also includes architect drawings of bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
View Video
CarCam: Eastbound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Note: The downloadable high quality version of this video (available on the video page) is well worth the download since it offers excellent 1080 HD detail and is vastly more impressive than the compressed streaming video. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.

View Maps
and Links

Divider
 
Home Top

Divider

About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2017, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.