4 votes

Devil's Corral Highway Bridge


Devil's Corral Bridge old Hwy 36

Devil's Corral Bridge on old Hwy 36 over the Susan River from upstream. Biz Johnson Trail Bridge in background on former RR trestle site.

Photo taken by Mike Lynch in May 2013


BH Photo #254892



Final link in new highway is dedicated Susanville and Westwood Dedicate $40,000 Bridge

November 25th, 1923 (possible from the Lassen Times)

The final link in the Susanville-Westwood highway was completed here Sunday when more than 1,200 people attended the dedication of a new $40,000 bridge.

Assemblyman Art J. Mathews, Judge H. D. Burroughs, Joe Hunter, county supervisor, M. E. Ditmeyer, secretary of the Lassen Volcanic National Park, Jules Alexander and S. C. Mitchell made brief speeches.

Music was furnished by the Red River Lumber company's band of 40 pieces from Westwood.

This new bridge marks one of the largest engineering moves in the highway work of northern California as it serves to complete a three-way span in eliminating a steep grade to the present bridge.

It also eliminates a dangerous crossing on the Westwood line of the Southern Pacific company and serves as a crossing to the Susan river. All of this despite the fact that the structure is less than 200 feet in length.

Pioneers and modern day motorists will place the old Devil's Corral detour into history. That bridge, constructed across Devil's Corral, dates back to immigrant days when pioneers were often forced to turn back with their wagon trains in the days of the gold rush due to the perpendicular walls of the lava rock formation on the banks of the Susan river.

The bridge was designed by bridge engineers of the Highway commission. Rocca and Caletti contractors.


Open-spandrel arch bridge over Susan River on "Formerly Lassen Volcanic Highway" & Hwy 36 until replaced by a downstream bridge and reallignment of Hwy 36 in 1965.
Lassen County, California
Open to pedestrians only, access is from Korver Road, 1/2 mile north of Hwy 36. Upper deck top of bridge in poor shape.
Build in 1923 by the California Highway Commission, Bypassed in 1965.
- Harlan D. Miller of Oakland, California (Acting Bridge Engineer)
- Rocca & Caletti of San Francisco, California. (Contractor)
Concrete open spandral bridge designed by engineers of the California Highway Commission. Rocca and Calletti were the contractors.
Total length: 200.0 ft.
Also called
Susan River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.39659, -120.78314   (decimal degrees)
40°23'48" N, 120°46'59" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/688139/4474135 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Roop Mountain
Inventory number
BH 56401 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 30, 2013: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "Concrete balustrade"
  • May 30, 2013: Updated by Mike Lynch: Added category "Curved"


  • Mike Lynch - lynch3212 [at] wavecable [dot] com


Devil's Corral Highway Bridge
Posted June 4, 2013, by Craig Philpott (cphilpott [at] puc [dot] edu)

What an excellent find and posting, thank you.

Devil's Corral Highway Bridge
Posted May 30, 2013, by Mike Lynch (lynch3212 [at] wavecable [dot] com)

Mike G.

Thanks for the comments and links to the Engineer and Contractor. There are very few historic highway bridges in Lassen County and I was happy to find this one and some historical information too, while on vacation in the area. Mike Lynch

Devil's Corral Highway Bridge
Posted May 30, 2013, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Mike this is an excellent example of a remaining Harlan D. Miller era arch span. Mr. Miller was the state bridge engineer for California during the early 1920's and was instrumental in bringing California's bridge design practices into the modern highway era. Nice find!