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

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley

The original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh

Firebaugh is a city located on the San Joaquin River of western Fresno County.  Firebaugh is one of the oldest American communities in San Joaquin Valley having been settled as the location of Firebaugh's Ferry in 1854.  Traditionally Firebaugh has been served by California State Route 33 which was one of the original Sign State Routes announced during August 1934.  In modern times California State Route 33 is aligned through Firebaugh on N Street.  Originally California State Route 33 headed southbound passed through Firebaugh via; N Street, 8th Street, O Street, 12th Street, Nees Avenue and Washoe Avenue.  The blog cover depicts early California State Route 33 near Firebaugh crossing over a one-lane canal bridge.  The image below is from the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which depicts the original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh. Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh The community of Firebaugh is named in honor of Andr

Driving the Watkins Glen Historic Road Course - New York

  Situated at the south end of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, Watkins Glen is well known for wineries along Seneca Lake and waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park . But one thing that gives the town much renown is its connection to the world of auto racing. The raceway at Watkins Glen Internationa l holds a number of big races every year, such as Six Hours at the Glen and the NASCAR Cup Series . The history of auto racing at Watkins Glen starts during the 1940s when the race followed a course on local roads and also through the streets of downtown Watkins Glen. It's a course that you can follow today, preferably at a more moderate speed than the auto racers of yore raced at. Let's explore the history of the original course, how it came to by and why it is no more. Organized races through the village of Watkins Glen and surrounding roads were first proposed and started by Cameron R. Argetsinger in 1948, marking the beginning of post-war sports car