Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Nevada County, California Bridges: Donner Summit Bridge (1)

December 2012 (39.3196 Degrees, -120.3189 Degrees) Donner Summit Bridge
On Sunday my wife and I drove into the Sierras to photograph a few more Nevada County bridges. Unfortunately, it had snowed heavily the day before and so the roads were 'stop and go' with vehicles carrying skiers, snowboarders, and families with children. Also, we realized we would have to wait until summer to get to those bridges that are in the more remote locations (or risk getting stuck).

The Donner Summit Bridge was designed by the old California Division of Highways in 1924 in the classic arch style that was the preferred design for scenic highways in the 1920s. The bridge carries Highway 40 over a canyon in the Sierras near Donner Lake. Highway 40 must have been the road into the Sierras until I-80 was built.

This bridge is an open spandrel reinforced concrete arch. It still carries traffic (901 vehicles a day in 2010), it was rehabilitated in 1996, and it's eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The main arch span is 117.1 ft long, the total bridge length is 241.2 ft long, and the width is 24.3 ft (barely adequate for two way traffic).
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Nevada County, California Bridges: Donner Summit Bridge (1) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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