What’s one of the top areas photographers love to shoot? Bridges! Their structural beauty and deep history provide not only a great photography subject but also incredible sights to see. Here are a few of the engineering feats Arizona has to offer.
1. Cameron Suspension Bridge
Built in 1911 near Cameron, this is the oldest suspension bridge in Arizona and has been a registered historic site since 1986. It once served as part of the route for US 89 until that traffic was re-routed to another bridge in 1959. Unfortunately, it is now closed to any kind of traffic since it carries a natural gas pipeline.
Here’s a fun fact: in 1937, the bridge nearly collapsed due to an overload of sheep. Those must have been some hefty sheep!
2. Chevelon Creek Bridge
This historic 1913 bridge recently received some TLC and was able to reopen to traffic. Located between Holbrook and Winslow, the little bridge once served as a major route for local and national traffic, predating the historic Route 66.
The project before its restoration.
3. Glen Canyon Dam Bridge
Another route for US 89, this bridge was originally built to transport building materials for the nearby dam. At the time of its construction, and for years following, the bridge and the Glen Canyon Dam incited fury from locals over the damage both had caused to the environment and local wildlife.
The bridge pictured next to the dam.
4. Grand Canyon Skywalk
If you suffer from extreme vertigo, you may want to skip this one. A recent addition to the Grand Canyon, the Skywalk is a U-shaped glass bridge that allows visitors further into the canyon than they otherwise could have gone.
Plenty of controversy surrounded this structure, especially from Indigenous and environmental groups, about the obstructions it creates. However, there are further development plans to continue developing in the area, including building a luxury restaurant and movie theater to take advantage of the tourism.
5. Kaibab Suspension Bridge (aka Black Bridge)
Another bridge in the Grand Canyon, this was completed in 1928 and is commonly known as the Black Bridge. You can access it when hiking down the Grand Canyon on the South Kaibab Trail.
Before this, the only way to cross the Colorado River was by riding an open-bar cage across a cable-way. This seems much safer.
6. London Bridge
Anglophiles, get your walking sticks ready. The London Bridge was relocated to Lake Havasu in 1964 after the 1831 bridge was determined to no longer be able to sustain the heavy London traffic.
7. Mill Avenue Bridges
So many bridges span (or once spanned) the Salt River in Tempe. A favorite are the two concrete bridges that connect to Mill Avenue which were built in the 1990s as replacements for the 1931 original.
Our favorite part is that the bridges are relatively friendly to pedestrians and even include little seating areas like this.
8. Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge
If you happen to visit the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, you’ll see this bridge not far from the site. The bridge was completed in 1915 and is a city icon that spans the Colorado River. Today it serves as a pedestrian and cyclist bridge that runs next to the railroad.
9. Roosevelt Lake Bridge
This beautiful bridge was built in 1990 to redirect traffic from crossing the top of the dam. Not only has it repeatedly been named one of the most aesthetically pleasing bridges but it is also the longest single span, steel arch bridge with two lanes in the country.
10. Winona Bridge
What a sight! Once a part of Route 66 near Winona, the bridge is now closed to vehicles but is still a popular location for photographers and history enthusiasts.
What other Arizona bridges would you like to see? Share them in the comments.