Harlan D. Miller

of Oakland, California
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Harlan D. Miller (1880-1926) was the State Bridge Engineer for the California Highway Department from 1923 until his untimely death in 1926. During his short tenure as State Bridge Engineer he made radical changes to the way California designed bridges. These changes included requiring all highway bridges in the state be designed by the state and designing bridges that matched the geometry of the roadway. The latter often complicated design fork but the final result (skewed or curved bridges) justified the efforts in drivability.

Millerís most visible effect on California bridges was the consideration given to design aesthetics. His designs were recognized in their own periods as possessing beauty and boldness. Many fine details can be seen on Miller designed bridges including rail and end post details, as well as clean lines and details of the superstructure design.

Harlan Millerís short tenure as State Bridge Engineer brought changes which had far reaching effects on state highway bridge design in California. His design philosophy set in motion the practices which lead to many of the beautiful and practical bridges that California constructed in the 1930ís including the Bixby Creek Bridge in 1932.

Engineering History

- Unknown Position, J.P. Cowing Company, Cleveland, OH

- Designer, New York Central Railroad

- Designer, New York State Engineerís Office

- Lead Engineer, New York State Bridge Department

- Primary Partner, Watson, Davis, and Miller Engineering Firm (1915-1919)

- Assistant State Bridge Engineer, California Highway Department (1919-1923)

- State Bridge Engineer, California Highway Department (1923-1926)


Charlie Creek Bridge (Shasta County, California)
Bridge Engineer, 1925
Concrete arch bridge over Charlie Creek on Lake Shore Drive in Lakehead-Lakeshore
Open to traffic

Devil's Corral Highway Bridge (Lassen County, California)
Acting Bridge Engineer, 1923
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.
Open to pedestrians only, access is from Korver Road, 1/2 mile north of Hwy 36. Upper deck top of bridge in poor shape.

Doney Creek Bridge (Shasta County, California)
Bridge Engineer - Design Phase, 1927
Concrete arch bridge over Doney Creek on Lakeshore Drive in Lakehead-Lakeshore
Open to traffic

Donner Pass Road Bridge (Nevada County, California)
Bridge Engineer, 1924
Concrete arch bridge over Donner Summit on Donner Pass Road
Open to traffic

Harlan D. Miller Bridge (Shasta County, California)
Bridge Engineer - Design Phase, 1927
Open-spandrel arch bridge over Dog Creek on abandoned U.S. 99 Alignment
Closed to all traffic

Polaris Arch Bridge (Nevada County, California)
Bridge Engineer, 1925
Lost concrete arch bridge over Truckee River on Glenshire Drive in Truckee
No longer exists

Slate Creek Bridge (Shasta County, California)
Bridge Engineer - Design Phase, 1927
Concrete tee beam bridge over Slate Creek on La Moine Road (Old U.S. 99) in La Moine
Open to traffic

Van Duzen River Bridge (Humboldt County, California)
Bridge Engineer, 1925
Lost Open-spandrel arch bridge over Van Duzen River on U.S. 101
Replaced by new bridge in 1996