8 votes

Bidwell Bar Bridge (1965)


Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge

Photo taken by Larry Matthews on June 17, 2013


BH Photo #256807

Street View 


Suspension bridge over Middle Fork Feather River on CA-162
Oroville East, Butte County, California
Open to traffic
Built 1965
Wire suspension
Length of largest span: 1,108.0 ft.
Total length: 1,793.1 ft.
Deck width: 27.9 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 29.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.54987, -121.42988   (decimal degrees)
39°32'60" N, 121°25'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/634904/4378976 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Oroville Dam
Average daily traffic (as of 2004)
Inventory numbers
CA 12-188 (California bridge number)
BH 10812 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of August 2017)
Overall condition: Good
Superstructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 52.1 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • December 9, 2020: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Curved". South approach span is curved, passing under the west main cable
  • November 8, 2017: New photo from Christopher Finigan
  • December 30, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Not structurally deficient"
  • August 21, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Painted green"
  • October 17, 2014: New photos from Patrick S. O'Donnell
  • June 19, 2013: New photos from Larry Matthews
  • August 4, 2011: New photo from Larry Matthews
  • November 15, 2010: New photos from Michael Goff
  • November 13, 2010: New photo from Craig Philpott
  • March 11, 2010: Updated by Craig Philpott: Added street view
  • June 20, 2009: Updated by Larry Matthews
  • March 3, 2008: Updated by Larry Matthews
  • February 16, 2008: New photo from Larry Matthews


  • Larry Matthews
  • Craig Philpott - craigphilpott63 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Wikipedia
  • Christopher Finigan
  • Patrick S. O'Donnell - 1 [dot] 991km [at] comcast [dot] net


Bidwell Bar Bridge
Posted December 9, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

The dramatic photo of the Bidwell Bar Bridge, taken in September by AP photographer Noah Berger, of fires raging around the bridge, has now been featured again. In the New York Times "2020 The Year in Pictures", this was the top picture for September. In this article, Noah tells about taking this photo of the bridge, and about covering other aspects of that time for AP.

This photo, taken by a professional photojournalist for AP, could be 2020's most dramatic bridge photo. It captures one of the year's most significant events in a single image. A pity it's too late to enter it into the best bridge photos contest at Bridgehunter Chronicles.

Look at it here at NYTimes, because it's copyrighted. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/year-in-pictu...

Bidwell Bar Bridge
Posted September 12, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Despite the raging fires near it, seen in dramatic AP photos, apparently the Bidwell Bar suspension bridge is being protected and carefully kept open, for use by both firefighters and evacuees.

A horrible tragedy is unfolding in CA, OR, WA. Many historic bridges have been lost, but I can't be sad about them yet while so many lives are now endangered. We'll survey and report on the bridges when the fires are out. It's great to hear of one of them, Bidwell Bar Bridge, serving a great purpose and saving lives.

Bidwell Bar Bridge
Posted September 9, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Dramatic photo of the Bidwell Bar Bridge surrounded by a raging wildfire. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/09/us/fires-washington-calif...

Bidwell Bar Bridge
Posted August 4, 2011, by Michael Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] odot [dot] state [dot] or [dot] us)


That is an impressive photo of the bridge from the time before the lake was filled! Imagine how different that same shot would look today if the lake were drained.

Bidwell Bar Bridge
Posted November 16, 2010, by Michael Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] odot [dot] state [dot] or [dot] us)


I use to go down into California quite often when I was still playing hockey. I injured myself and transfered to a hockey rinkless town, so I had to give it up. (I actually played my last game at the Snoopy Rink in Santa Rosa)

My grandmother lives in Red Bluff, so I do get down that way every once in a while. Her and my wife wanted to go to the casino in Oroville. Not being a gambler, I droped them off and spent some time at the Bidwell Bar Bridge.

Bidwell Bar Bridge
Posted November 15, 2010, by Craig Philpott (cphilpott [at] puc [dot] edu)

Great pictures Michael, one of these weekends you and I may run into each other, good to see you down in California.