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Antelope Hill Highway Bridge

Photos 

Antelope Hill Highway Bridge

Photo taken by C Hanchey in November 2018

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

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BH Photo #439541

Map 

Street View 

Description 

The Antelope Hill Highway Bridge is a historic bridge over the Gila River in Tacna, Arizona. It was built in 1914-1915 to be part of the Ocean to Ocean Highway linking California to the rest of the country, and opened August 18, 1915. To avoid blistering summer desert heat, opening festivities were postponed to October 15, 1915. It was partly rebuilt almost annually due to flood damage, until finally being abandoned in 1929. In 1920 an engineer complained that it was impossible to keep the river under the bridge. Some of the repaired or replacement spans were timber trestles in its later years. The Ocean to Ocean Highway was then rerouted to the present alignment of I-8. (Perhaps it was just a poor place to build a bridge in the first place.) Some spans have been washed away, but the remaining spans are open to pedestrians. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since June 28, 1979.

The NRHP Nomination below in Links (PDF) contains an excellent, detailed description and history of the bridge that is well worth reading.

The total length and number of spans varied with each flood and repair. The width of 20' was consistent.

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned concrete deck girder bridge over Gila River on Ocean to Ocean Highway
Location
Tacna, Yuma County, Arizona
Status
Derelict/abandoned
History
Opened August 18, 1915. Abandoned 1929 after being repaired and lengthened in 1918 and 1920
Builder
- Perry E. Borchers
Design
concrete two-beam deck girder bridge with timber trestle spans added later.
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 65.0 ft.
Deck width: 16.0 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 28, 1979
Approximate latitude, longitude
+32.71428, -114.01336   (decimal degrees)
32°42'51" N, 114°00'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
11/779948/3623557 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Wellton Mesa
Inventory numbers
NRHP 79003444 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 72724 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 21, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add Description, photo, link to NRHP Nomination
  • December 18, 2018: New photos from C Hanchey
  • July 5, 2016: New Street View added by J.P.

Related Bridges 

Sources 

Comments 

Antelope Hill Highway Bridge
Posted December 21, 2018, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

C. Hanchey's nice photos led me to investigate further, discovering this bridge's fascinating history in the NRHP Nomination form. It appears that this was just a poor place to build a bridge due to repeated flooding and course changes of the river. The parallel modern road crosses the Gila River via a low water crossing, not a bridge.