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No-Hands Bridge

Photos 

No Hands Bridge

Looking down river to the West

Photo taken by Craig Philpott in 1982

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BH Photo #158486

Map 

Street View 

Description 

Opened for service March 23, 1912 for the standard gauge 7-mile Mt. Quarries Railroad that ran from the limestone quarry in El Dorado County to the mainline in Auburn. This bridge was the largest reinforced concrete railroad bridge in California at the time it was constructed.

The bridge was pressed into service as a one lane bridge for a period in the mid-1960s, whilst the highway 49 bridge was being rebuilt after being washed out in a flood. The bridge didn't have a guardrail, which made crossing somewhat hairy. This is where the bridge's common name, "No-Hands Bridge" originates from.

The bridge's architect & engineer, John B. Leonard, was a pioneering bridge engineer & architect, as well an early advocate for reinforced concrete structures. The bridge was pressed into service as a one lane bridge for a period in the mid-1960s, whilst the the highway 49 bridge was being rebuilt after being washed out in a flood. The bridge didn't have a guardrail, which made crossing somewhat hairy. This is where the common name, "No-Hands Bridge" originates from.

Facts 

Overview
Closed-spandrel Reinforced concrete arch bridge over North Fork American River
Location
Placer County, California, and El Dorado County, California
Status
Open to pedestrians & horses
History
Built 1912,
Builders
- Duncanson-Harrelson Co. of San Francisco, California (Contractor)
- John B. Leonard of Union City, Michigan (Engineer)
Railroads
- Mountain Quarries Railroad (MQC)
- Rail-to-road
- Rail-to-trail
Design
Reinforced concrete bridge. Single lane Closed spandrel concrete deck arch
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 140.0 ft.
Total length: 582.0 ft.
Deck width: 15.0 ft.
Skew angle
10 degrees
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 2004
Also called
Mt. Quarries Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.91269, -121.04163   (decimal degrees)
38°54'46" N, 121°02'30" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/669794/4308910 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Auburn
Inventory numbers
NRHP 04000014 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 44524 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 25, 2017: New Street View added by Luke
  • July 17, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Reverted entry back to common name.
  • July 17, 2013: Updated by Mike Lynch: added historical info and photos
  • January 23, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Changed to common name.
  • July 18, 2012: New photos from Brian Smith
  • July 25, 2011: Updated by Craig Philpott: added engineer data
  • March 21, 2010: Added by Craig Philpott

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