The Historic Concrete Bridge In Pasadena Is The Only One Of Its Kind In Southern California
Driving along Ventura Freeway across the Arroyo Seco, drivers can catch a glimpse of one of the most unique bridges in Southern California. Considered a feat in engineering when it was constructed, the Colorado Street Bridge is striking to look at with wide arches and stunning lamp fixtures. The historic bridge is truly one-of-a-kind, making it a beloved spot for photography and sightseeing. It is well worth it to go out of your way to drive or walk across this magnificent bridge whenever you’re in Pasadena!
A long-standing landmark in Pasadena, the Colorado Street Bridge is an incredible sight with its eye-catching architecture and historic charm.
The bridge was designed and built by the firm Waddell & Harrington in 1912. Upon the bridge's completion, its 150-foot-high arches meant that it was considered the highest concrete bridge in the world.
Before the bridge was completed, those who wanted to cross the Arroyo Seco had to navigate a steep eastern slope and rugged terrain. Building a bridge on this harsh topography presented its own set of challenges; engineers were stumped on how to create solid footing on the wet arroyo bed.
Engineer John Drake Mercereau solved this unique challenge by coming up with the idea to curve the bridge. The bridge's 50-degree curve combined with the 150-foot soaring arches made for a look that continues to impress to this day.
The bridge's original purpose was to connect Los Angeles and Pasadena. The bridge was only two lanes wide, though, which eventually could not keep up with the traffic. The bridge was part of Route 66 until the Arroyo Seco Parkway was completed in 1940.
To drive over the bridge, simply take Colorado Boulevard west from downtown Pasadena. However, walking over it is the best way to appreciate the bridge's architectural details, like the vintage street lights. You can park nearby and walk across using the pedestrian path.
The Colorado Street Bridge is a classic landmark that we'll never get sick of looking at! It's always worth stopping for a photo-op when you find yourself in Pasadena.
Have you seen this iconic concrete bridge for yourself? What’s your favorite bridge in SoCal? Show off your photos and share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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