Sometime prior to 1890 a wooden bridge was constructed across the Arroyo at this location. The Los Angeles Times reports on January 10, 1890 that the Public Works Commission took a tour of Los Angeles "partly by 'four-in-hand', partly by cable, and a good deal by Shank's Mares". The last stop on their tour was "the bridge across the Arroyo Seco". It was reported that the Board decided that it "should be abandoned and the Pasadena boulevard built as soon as possible. To rebuild and make the Arroyo Seco bridge safe it will be necessary to put in costly levees, at an expense of thousands of dollars, while the boulevard, which only pass one block higher up the hill from the dilapidated bridge now stands, will be a safe road at all seasons of the years."
On July 28, 1904, the Los Angeles Times reported that "The city of Los Angeles has just begun over the Arroyo Seco at Pasadena avenue, one of the remarkable pieces of highway bridge construction is Southern California. The bridge is unique in ti superstructure which build of slid concrete in splendid solidity to defy the elements till judgement day, withstand the washing of the mightiest floods, and hold up the weight of a railroad train.
The concrete foundation is being placed for future building - for a day when the municipality may wish to put in an all-steel bridge, and a larger one at that.
The new structure will supersede an old excuse just torn down to make way for the more modern erection. When completed, the bridge will be 24 feet long, with an eighteen-foot roadway and a walk for pedestrians six feet in width.
There will be two spans, each 120 feet in length. These will rest upon a massive concrete pier and a pair of concrete abutments that look like the ground walls of a might rampart."