Wednesday, October 21, 2009

American River Bridges: Fair Oaks and Sunrise Bridges

Continuing downstream along the American River we come to the Fair Oaks Pedestrian Bridge. In the distance we can see the Sunrise Boulevard Bridge.

Wikipedia says that the Fair Oaks Bridge is a Pratt Truss since the diagonals all move downward towards the center of the bridge. The Wikepedia article has the best description on the Internet of the different kind of truss bridges.

There is also a long article about the Fair Oaks Bridge. Apparently several bridges were built at this site that were washed away by floods. The dams across the river eventually reduced the occurrence of flooding. The current bridge was built in 1907. It has two 220 ft long truss spans supported on a tall masonry pier in the center of the river. It was closed to traffic in 1967 and ownership was transferred to the Sacramento County Parks and Recreation Department. It was listed as a National Historic Site in 2006. More information on this bridge is available on another Wikepedia Website.

The Fair Oaks Bridge was another favorite location for rope climbing practice, although one had to be patient with all the questions that were asked (and we had to keep our equipment out of the way of cyclists). As I mentioned the Sunrise Bridge, a five span steel stringer bridge that was built in 1955, can be seen in the distance. The Sunrise and Hazel Bridges carry most of the vehicle traffic across this part of the American River. The next vehicle crossing is about fourteen miles downstream.
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American River Bridges: Fair Oaks and Sunrise Bridges by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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