Old Trails Arch Bridge
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member leadhiker
N 34° 42.930 W 114° 29.350
11S E 729933 N 3844364
Quick Description: Built in 1919, this is the original crossing of Route 66. Abandoned in 1945 when Route 66 was relocated north to the Red Rock bridge. The arch bridge now carries a natural gas pipeline.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 6/17/2010 4:26:01 PM
Waymark Code: WM92C3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member DopeyDuck
Views: 17

Long Description:
The Trails Arch Bridge was situated 800 feet downstream from the Red Rock Bridge, and like the Red Rock Bridge was a groundbreaking event in bridge building. For 12 years, it was the longest three hinged arch bridge in the nation. When Route 66 came into being in 1926, many parts of the National Old Trails Highway became part of the new route, and Route 66 crossed the Colorado over the Trails Arch Bridge.

Although it was a substantial improvement over sharing a bridge with trains, the Trails Arch Bridge was not without its restrictions. It was rated for a load limit of 11 tons, but was only wide enough for one way traffic of trucks and busses. This restriction was not a serious problem until the increase in truck traffic which came with World War II. Adding to the bridge's problems, the completion of Parker Dam on March 4, 1938, backed up water enough to cover the abutments and lower hinges of the bridge.

When Route 66 abandoned the Trails Arch Bridge, its demise seemed eminent. In the ultimate act of recycling, Pacific Gas and Electric took over the bridge. They removed the roadway and replaced it with gas and utility lines. As the bridge approaches a century of use, its bright white paint gives it the pristine appearance of far younger structure.

[Text from: aroundaz.com/route66/topock]
Americana: Other Icon

Significant Interest: Bridge

Milestone or Marker: Beginning or Ending

Web Site Address: [Web Link]

Address of Icon:
Needles, CA

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