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Old 1916 Elkhorn Avenue Concrete Pony Truss Bridge

The other day I was browsing bridgehunter.com when I noticed that there an old Concrete Pony Truss bridge spanning the Fresno Slough in rural Fresno County near Burrell on Elkhorn Avenue.  Today I went out to the old span to grab some photos.






The Old Elkhorn Avenue Bridge apparently dates back from 1916 according to bridgehunter.com.

Old Elkhorn Avenue Bridge

I don't have an exact date for the replacement Elkhorn Avenue span over Fresno Slough but the old grade still has paint which makes it apparent the replacement probably was built in the last two decades.









As stated above the Old Elkhorn Avenue Bridge spans Fresno Slough.  Fresno Slough is a tributary connecting the Kings River to northwest to the San Joaquin River.  Before Tulare Lake dried up it would occasionally crest at about 210 feet above sea level which caused a back flow into the Kings River.  The back flow of Tulare Lake would in turn flow through Fresno Slough towards the San Joaquin River.  Today Fresno Slough rarely has water in it aside from irrigation diversion.






The Old Elkhorn Avenue Bridge can be walked across but there isn't a plaque or indicator to tell travelers any details about the bridge.














Interestingly on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Fresno County the modern Elkhorn Avenue is shown as Dodge Avenue.  A different Elkhorn Avenue is shown two miles to the south along modern Cerini Avenue.


The reason the Old Elkhorn Bridge was likely built was the proximity to the Riverdale Branch Railroad and it's siding in Burrel.  The Riverdale Branch Railroad was built in 1910 and has largely been razed.  There is still a modern line terminating in Burrel to this day.




More information on the Riverdale Branch Railroad can be found here.




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