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Antelope Hill Highway Bridge


Antelope Hill Highway Bridge

Photo taken by C Hanchey in November 2018

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


View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #439541

Street View 


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.


Abandoned concrete deck girder bridge over Gila River on Ocean to Ocean Highway
Tacna, Yuma County, Arizona
Opened August 18, 1915. Abandoned 1929 after being repaired and lengthened in 1918 and 1920
- Perry E. Borchers
concrete two-beam deck girder bridge with timber trestle spans added later.
Length of largest span: 65.0 ft.
Deck width: 16.0 ft.
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)


Abandoned (4,014)
Arizona (347)
Beam (17,377)
Built 1915 (1,280)
Built during 1910s (10,241)
Concrete girder (1,099)
Deck girder (6,618)
Girder (11,662)
Have street view (30,434)
Lost 1929 (108)
Lost during 1920s (903)
NR-listed (3,027)
Owned by county (22,000)
Perry E. Borchers (1)
Span length 50-75 feet (10,679)
Tacna, Arizona (1)
Timber stringer (4,478)
Yuma County, Arizona (18)

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 



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.