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Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge (original 1856 bridge)

Photos 

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge. Photo taken at high water mark on Lake Oroville.

Photo taken by Larry Matthews on May 14, 2012

Enlarge

BH Photo #232264

Map 

Description 

This structure is the only surviving suspension bridge in the American West dating to the mid 19th century. When reconstructed over Lake Oroville, it was "strengthened" with pile supports under the bridge deck.

-- Historic American Engineering Record

Facts 

Overview
Relocated suspension bridge formerly over Feather River
Location
Butte County, California
Status
Open to pedestrians
History
Built 1856 using materials transported from Troy, NY; closed to traffic in 1954; relocated 1967
Builders
- Jones & Murray
- Starbuck Iron Works (Fabrication)
Design
Wire/cable suspension
Dimensions
Total length: 240.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.53747, -121.45417   (decimal degrees)
39°32'15" N, 121°27'15" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/632840/4377563 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Oroville Dam
Inventory number
BH 36276 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 16, 2017: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • October 17, 2014: New photos from Patrick S. O'Donnell
  • May 15, 2012: New photo from Larry Matthews
  • January 31, 2012: HAER photos posted by Michael Goff
  • November 13, 2010: New photo from Craig Philpott
  • March 16, 2008: Updated by Larry Matthews
  • February 17, 2008: Added by Larry Matthews

Sources 

Comments 

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge (original 1856 bridge)
Posted September 17, 2017, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

Obviously the bridge in the street view is the CA 162 bridge.

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge (original 1856 bridge)
Posted September 16, 2017, by Bill Bishop (wbishop48 [at] gmail [dot] com)

My pals and I dived off the suspension bridge at Bidwell Bar State Park many times in the 1960s. The ranger was nicknamed "Smiley". If he saw us he would yell and wave his arms but he couldn't catch us-didn't even try. There used to be a picture of Smiley in the Municipal Auditorium in Oroville with his real name. We used to carry our tubes up the railroad grade past the confluence of the South Fork and then float back down to Bidwell Bar. Used to be a concession on the north side with a bumper pool table. I was very sad when they built the dam.

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge (original 1856 bridge)
Posted February 16, 2017, by george oakley (georgeoakley492yahoo [dot] com)

Isn't this the same Oroville Ca that had the dam breach just last week?

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge (original 1856 bridge)
Posted February 15, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Well, I am not familiar with this area, so I could only speculate. Any California contributors on here?

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge (original 1856 bridge)
Posted February 15, 2017, by Morgane (morganeroth [at] gmail [dot] com)

I'm doing some genealogical research and found a reference to "the new bridge, a little out of town, on the Washington road". From the Nevada Journal, 5 Dec 1856, published out of Nevada City, CA.

Would the Bidwell Bridge be the bridge referenced?

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge (original 1856 bridge)
Posted September 10, 2016, by Libby Haraughty (libbyanneh2 [at] aol [dot] com)

As teenagers, my husband and I used to picnic at the original site of Bidwell Bar Bridge. A ranger (?) was on duty to prevent people from diving off the bridge, but he would always wait until Ed made a swan dive from the bridge before shooing the kids off the bridge! We visit it now at its "home" in Lake Oroville - no diving!

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge (original 1856 bridge)
Posted August 21, 2012, by William G. (Garry) Price (wgppilut [at] aol [dot] com)

I too remember picknicking at Bidwell's Bar in the 50s. My mother was a nurse at the county hospital and they had a employee's picnic there. I remember seeing beaver in the river. A nice place but the water was sure cold.

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge (original 1856 bridge)
Posted August 21, 2012, by William G. (Garry) Price (wgppilut [at] aol [dot] com)

I too remember picknicking at Bidwell's Bar in the 50s. My mother was a nurse at the county hospital and they had a employee's picnic there. I remember seeing beaver in the river. A nice place but the water was sure cold.

Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge
Posted January 20, 2010, by John Bell (jnpbell [at] clearwire [dot] net)

As a young boy, I remember picnics at the Bidwell Bar Bridge, and the water was swift and cold. One outing, I lost a plastic folding knife which I had wanted for quite some time - oh, well.