Skip to main content

1906 North Fork Road Bridge Ruins

Downstream from the Friant Dam is North Fork Road which crosses the San Joaquin River on a bridge which was completed in 1952.  Downstream from said 1952 bridge is an older right-of-way and very apparent bridge ruin which caught my eye on many a trip past Millerton Lake.


It turns out that particular bridge ruin is the reinforced concrete 1906 North Fork Road Bridge.  The 1906 North Fork Road Bridge was the first reinforced concrete bridge in Fresno County was the replacement of a wooden structure that was built in 1883.  During the collapse of the 1889 Lanes Bridge in 1940 the 1906 North Fork Road Bridge became Temporary California State Route 41 until a replacement structure was open in 1941.  Somehow despite the Friant Dam being completed in 1949 flood waters downstream from the structure became bad enough in 1951 to wipe out the 1906 North Fork Road Bridge.  Oddly rather removing the 1906 structure when the 1952 replacement was built it was instead left in the San Joaquin River as it was.  The ruins are easily viewed from the 1952 bridge by pulling over to the south shoulder.





Apparently the canyon that the Friant Dam and North Fork Road dips into was once called Jenny Lind Canyon.  The 1883 wooden bridge apparently shared the name of the Canyon and was the first bridge crossing of the San Joaquin River in Fresno County.  At the time the 1883 Jenny Lind Bridge was built the village Friant was still known as Hamptonville.  Hamptonville was established as a ferry crossing of the San Joaquin River in 1852.



Fortunately the 1906 North Fork Bridge collapsed at the right time because the 1952 replacement still has classic California highway design flair.







For perspective the Friant Dam literally is within walking distance to the north of both the 1906 and 1952 North Fork Road bridges.





It wasn't easy compiling documentation on the 1906 bridge but the Lanes Bridge article I cited in the previous blog mentions it.  I was also able to find partial information on the 1906 bridge on Bridgehunter.com.

Lanes Bridge Spanned Decades

Bridge Hunter on 1906 North Fork Road Bridge

Comments

AnnDee4444 said…
This was also know as the Pollasky bridge, due Friant still being named Pollasky until 1907.

Page 23 of this PDF has a good photo of this bridge: http://www.survivorlibrary.com/library/why_the_concrete_bridge_is_replacing_other_forms_1913.pdf
Challenger Tom said…
Definitely appreciate the link, I posted a snip of the photo in the PDF to the Gribblenation Facebook page.

Popular posts from this blog

Route 75 Tunnel - Ironton, Ohio

In the Ohio River community of Ironton, Ohio, there is a former road tunnel that has a haunted legend to it. This tunnel was formerly numbered OH 75 (hence the name Route 75 Tunnel), which was renumbered as OH 93 due to I-75 being built in the state. Built in 1866, it is 165 feet long and once served as the northern entrance into Ironton, originally for horses and buggies and later for cars. As the tunnel predated the motor vehicle era, it was too narrow for cars to be traveling in both directions. But once US 52 was built in the area, OH 93 was realigned to go around the tunnel instead of through the tunnel, so the tunnel was closed to traffic in 1960. The legend of the haunted tunnel states that since there were so many accidents that took place inside the tunnel's narrow walls, the tunnel was cursed. The haunted legend states that there was an accident between a tanker truck and a school bus coming home after a high school football game on a cold, foggy Halloween night in 1

Former California State Route 190 at the bottom of Lake Success

East of the City of Porterville the alignment of California State Route 190 follows the Tule River watershed into the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  In modern times California State Route 190 east of Porterville climbs south of the Lake Success Reservoir towards Springville.  Much of the original alignment of California State Route 190 within the Lake Success Reservoir can still be hiked, especially in drier years.  Pictured above is the original alignment of California State Route 190 facing northward along the western shore of Lake Success.  Part 1; the history of California State Route 190 through Lake Success The corridor of California State Route 190 ("CA 190") east of Porterville to Springville follows the watershed of the Tule River.  The Tule River watershed between Porterville and Springville would emerge as a source of magnesite ore near the turn of the 20th Century.  The magnesite ore boom would lead to the development of a modern highway in the Porterville-Springville

US Route 299 and modern California State Route 299

US Route 299 connected US Route 101 near Arcata of Humboldt County east across the northern mountain ranges of California to US Route 395 in Alturas of Modoc County.  US Route 299 was the longest child route of US Route 99 and is the only major east/west highway across the northern counties of California.  US Route 299 was conceptualized as the earliest iteration of what is known as the Winnemucca-to-the-Sea Highway.  The legacy of US Route 299 lives on today in the form of the 307 mile long California State Route 299.   Featured as the cover of this blog is the interchange of US Route 101 and US Route 299 north of Arcata which was completed as a segment of the Burns Freeway during 1956.   Part 1; the history of US Route 299 and California State Route 299 The development of the State Highways which comprised US Route 299 ("US 299") and later California State Route 299 ("CA 299") began with 1903 Legislative Chapter 366 which defined the general corridor of the Trinit