While not an early example of the technology, this bridge has some unusual aspects that make it noteworthy. The bridge is a common type of bascule, the fixed trunnion, but it is unusual because it has an overhead counterweight and trunnion. With fixed trunnion bascules, most commonly the counterweight was located below the deck in a counterweight pit, and the trunnion would also be located below the deck. With the trunnion clearly visible above the roadway, and the massive counterweight hard to ignore, the bridge is a very visual display how a fixed trunnion bascule works, even though it no longer operates for boats. The approach pony truss spans of this bridge are also noteworthy because they are continuous. The concrete counterweight was carefully designed to visually merge with the trusses rather that sticking out like on many bascule bridges. To help reduce the size of the counterweight, heavy magnetite aggregate was used in the concrete to maximize the weight.
This area has a long history of bridge crossings. In 1869 the Transcontinental Railroad was extended from Sacramento to Oakland, passing through here.
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