Monday, April 7, 2008

The Meridian Bridge

saSince there's no activity in the Mario Lozano trial this morning, I thought I'd post a few photos of the bridge here in Meridian. The bridge goes over the Sacramento river and is a rotating bridge so that river traffic can go up or down river. There isn't much river traffic that warrants the bridge being opened, so periodically the state will "test" the operation of the bridges that go over the river here and elsewhere. The first year I lived here after retiring just happened to be the time when the Meridian Bridge was due for a test. There were a lot of us from this little town who went up on the levee to watch the bridge turn. They even piled kids from our little school on buses and brought them over to watch the bridge. There were even a number of CalTrans workers who stood with us on the levee to watch because they'd never seen the bridge open.

Here's a shot of the bridge when I first got up on top of the levee. Getting to the top of the levee was a bit of a mess. The test took place in late November, so the river levels were a bit on the high side and everything was muddy. You can see a couple of the state trucks sitting on the bridge if you zoom in on it.

In this view, you can see a lot of the state workers on the bridge where it "breaks", including one guy on the platform below the road surface. The bridge is just beginning to open.

The bridge is swinging open more now.. And there are 3 guys on the platform below the road surface.

Here's more of a closeup of that last view taken a couple minutes later.

And here we are a few more minutes later, you can see where the bridge has turned enough that it has cleared the road edge.

And the bridge rotates some more. You can see an orange pickup on the bridge, along with some of the workers. You can also see some of the guys standing on the road edge on the Colusa side of the bridge.

Now we have a straight-on view of the bridge as it rotated. If you zoom in, you can see there are two vehicles on the bridge along with the workers. And you can see the guys still on the platform below the roadbed on the Meridian side.

It's almost open now...

Yup, the bridge is open now. They didn't hold it open for very long. Just a minute or so, then they swung it closed again.

Then all the school kids got back on the bus and the rest of us folks who climbed the levee to watch the bridge wandered off back to our homes.

I can remember years ago coming up to Meridian from Southern California to visit my grandparents who lived right next to the levee. It was a different bridge back then, but it was still a turntable type bridge. (The current bridge was completed in 1976.) But, I can remember sitting in my grandparent's house and hearing a horn blast. Grandpa would get up and head out the door with all of us right behind him. We'd climb the levee behind the house and stand up on top and wave to the guys on the barges and tugs as they went up river. The kids thought it was a pretty nifty event. It's been a long time since they stopped using the barges to carry cargo up and down the river. But, the bridges are still there, all along the Sacramento River. The drawbridges and turntable bridges still operate, but now it takes a call 24 hours in advance to get them to open.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved these pics - I have never seen a turntable bridge - photos or real life. I think we only have drawbridges in my world