2 votes

NWP - Corte Madera Drawbridge


Corte Madera Creek RR Bridge

Looking NE

Photo taken by Craig Philpott in January 2009


BH Photo #146816


Street View 


Clint Eastwood jumped off of the portion over Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in the film Dirty Harry onto a hijacked bus.

That section of the bridge was removed in 2003


Bascule bridge over Corte Madera Creek on abandoned Northwestern and Pacific Railroad in Corte Madera
Corte Madera, Marin County, California
Closed to all traffic
Built 1930; Section over Sir Francis Drake Boulevard removed in 2003
- Northwestern Pacific Railroad (NWP)
Deck plate girder bascule draw bridge
Also called
Corte Madera Channel Drawbridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.94332, -122.51351   (decimal degrees)
37°56'36" N, 122°30'49" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/542745/4199637 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
San Rafael
22 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 43432 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 11, 2018: New Street View added by Luke
  • January 30, 2016: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • December 26, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • October 19, 2015: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • August 15, 2015: Updated by Luke: Corrected default image.
  • September 10, 2014: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • July 30, 2014: Updated by Luke: Noted that the bridge was in Dirty Harry.
  • May 27, 2014: New photos from Douglas Butler
  • June 6, 2010: New Street View added by Craig Philpott
  • February 6, 2010: Updated by James Baughn: Corrected coordinates
  • September 30, 2009: Added by Craig Philpott


  • Craig Philpott - craigphilpott63 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Douglas Butler
  • Luke
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com


Corte Madera RR Bridge
Posted November 26, 2010, by Dave S. (NoSpam [at] browser [dot] net)

I believe that this bridge was last used in the late 1970's or very early 1980's by Southern Pacific on the former Northwestern Pacific to serve Handy-Cup (now called Win Cup) in Corte Madera. SP killed off the line by charging shippers a $2000/car surcharge on poorly utilized branch lines.

Interesting fact about this bridge: it remained closed Mondays through Fridays and opened on the weekends, unless special arrangements were made. I think that the sign that spells all this out is still visible on the open span. To open or close this bridge it took FIVE SP employees to literally crank it up or down manually. I remember walking along the line one Friday afternoon seeing a speeder crammed with men head out to the bridge to perform this job.