Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

December 1914: Panorama of the new Colorado Street Bridge across the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena. This photo was published in the Dec. 14, 1914, Los Angeles Times. The sky and parts of the background were retouched by a Times artist.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

June 1913: The Colorado Street Bridge during construction. This photo was published in the June 29, 1913, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

April 1937: All left turns at the western end of the Colorado Street Bridge were eliminated. Motorists wanting to turn left now have a new tunnel under the bridge. A brand new 1937 La Salle sedan is shown taking the new route from the right hand lane. This photo was published in the April 4, 1937, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Library file photo

A 1937 aerial photo of Colorado Street Bridge and Arroyo Seco. The Vista del Arroyo Hotel is lower center. The Rose Bowl is upper right.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wide World Photos

May 19, 1953: A new bridge, now the Ventura Freeway, €“is built over the Arroyo Seco. The Colorado Street Bridge is on the right. This photo was published in the May 25, 1953, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Clarence Mortenson / Los Angeles Times

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The Colorado Street Bridge is 100 years old

The Colorado Street Bridge was opened on Dec. 13, 1913. An earlier June 29, 1913, Los Angeles Times story reported on the new bridge:

THE GREAT COLORADO-street bridge of reinforced concrete and steel over the Arroyo Seco with a roadway 160 feet above the channel bed is nearly completed. Work was begun just a year ago and about four weeks more will be needed before the structure will be ready for use. The bridge has been built at a cost of $200,000 with funds jointly provided by the City of Pasadena and County of Los Angeles.

It is said to be the longest and highest bridge in this section of California…

The Arroyo Seco, with a width varying from 1200 to 1500 feet and a depth of 150 to 175 feet has been a serious obstruction to traffic between Pasadena and this city…

The new structure will provide an easy and direct route across the valley. The bridge is 1468 feet long, 28 feet wide and 167 feet above the water flow. It consists of a series of arches, six spans of 113 feet, two spans of 151 feet and one span of 223 feet, center to center of piers and six small girder spans in the form of arches.

A roadway, 28 feet between curbs, will be paved with asphalt and there are two sidewalks each 5 feet wide. Over each pier is a projecting bay widening the sidewalks to 8 feet and containing a concrete bench. The structure is for highway and pedestrian traffic only, no provision having been made for street-car tracks…

The Colorado Street Bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places. In the early 1990s it was given a major earthquake retrofit.

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