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Rancho Murieta Bridge

Yellow Bridge

Rancho Murieta Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: April 6, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Pedestrian Walkway Over Cosumnes River
Location
Rural: Sacramento County, California: United States
Structure Type
Metal 12 Panel Pin-Connected Pennsylvania Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 5 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Full-Slope Pony Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1908 By Builder/Contractor: Western Bridge and Construction Company of Omaha, Nebraska

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
227 Feet (69.19 Meters)
Structure Length
306 Feet (93.27 Meters)
Roadway Width
18 Feet (5.49 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 1 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is an impressive structure and the pin-connected Pennsylvania through truss design of the two main spans makes this bridge a rare type. A small rivet-connected pony truss approach span provides a contrast in design, appearance, and size to the main spans of the bridge. The bridge was built by the same company as the Fair Oaks Bridge and many similarities can be seen in the design of these two bridges.

This bridge retains excellent historic integrity including original lattice railings. It has been nicely maintained and preserved with its distinctive yellow paint protecting the steel of the bridge. However, the bridge is completely fenced off to outsiders with razor wire. The bridge serves as a crossing in the Rancho Murieta Country Club, which is a part of an exclusive guard-gated community called Rancho Murieta. Visiting the country club website, HistoricBridges.org determined that it would cost someone who did not live in the Rancho Murieta community $1075 to gain the privilege of walking on this historic bridge, based on the assumption that one would have to be a member of the country club to access the bridge. While HistoricBridges.org is happy that this bridge is preserved and not headed for the dumpster like so many historic bridges, this bridge also serves as a cautionary warning to allowing public historic bridges to transfer into private ownership. When seeking a preservation solution for a publically owned historic bridge, giving the bridge to a private owner should always be the last resort after all options to preserve the bridge in a public location have been considered. Moreover, when considering possible private owners to give a historic bridge to, owners who plan to either make the bridge open to the public, or perhaps as part of a museum with a reasonable entry fee, should be prioritized before giving it to someone who is going to lock it behind the walls of a guard-gated community. Bridges are traditionally a symbol of unity that connect and bring people together, not something that restricts, blocks, or excludes people. This the spirit that should guide the preservation of historic bridges.

For those who don't care about seeing the beautiful details of this bridge and don't care about the experience of walking on this beautiful historic bridge, it should be noted that the bridge can be viewed from a distance on the CA-16 highway just west of the bridge. Additionally, when armed with a camera with substantial zoom capability, one can get a surprisingly good set of photos of this bridge from the highway right-of-way, which is what the HistoricBridges.org photo collection represents.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Rancho Murieta Bridge

 
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