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Winters Bridge

   


Winters Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: April 6, 2013
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Winters Road (Railroad Avenue) Over Putah Creek
Location
Winters: Solano County, California and Yolo County, California
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1907 By Builder/Contractor: W. N. Concanon Company of San Francisco, California and Engineer/Design: P. N. Ashley

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1930
Main Span Length
123 Feet (37.5 Meters)
Structure Length
447 Feet (136.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
22 Feet (6.7 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
23C0243

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This Bridge No Longer Exists!

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

View Historic American Engineering Record Documentation Completed For This Bridge

This historic bridge was demolished and replaced in 2014!

When completed, this bridge was the longest spanning concrete arch bridge in California, a record it held until 1911. At the time of demolition, this bridge was the oldest concrete arch bridge in the region, and among the oldest in California. The bridge was built in 1907 and its railings were altered in 1930. In 1911 the bridge was incorporated into the State Highway System. The bridge's design was characterized by a closed spandrel arch design with architectural detailing including inset panels. The sidewalks of the bridge were cantilevered out from the bridge. The concrete cantilever system supporting the sidewalks was a solid section of concrete, curved out from the arch itself. This is somewhat different from the more common design where concrete brackets extend from the arch.

This bridge was scheduled for demolition and replacement in 2013. The reason given for demolition instead of preservation is that scour had eroded a pier down to the timber piles that form the core of the pier system. Unanswered is why the bridge was allowed to deteriorate to this point. The piers should have been repaired and protected long before the timber piles were even close to being exposed. Underwater bridge inspections would have allowed for the detection of these scour issues prior to the issue becoming as serious as it was at the time of demolition. The replacement bridge was designed as a cast-in-place concrete box girder structure. The design included fake arch facades to supposedly make this ugly replacement bridge look like the historic bridge. Doing so not only creates a false sense of structural purpose (the arches actually have no functional purpose) it also creates a false sense of history. The historic bridge did have attractive arches, but those arches actually supported the bridge. In this way, the replacement bridge is a mockery of the skills of the engineers who designed the bridge and the craftsmen who built it, who were able to product a bridge where function and beauty were in a state of unity. The designers of the replacement bridge failed to do so.

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Photos and Videos: Winters Bridge

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