Friday, September 15, 2017

A Tale of Two Bridges - Pismo Beach CA

This post is about side by side bridges in Pismo Beach. The coast road was the only thru-road on this part of the coast. The railroad bridge was built in 1909, and the road bridge in 1911. A little bit of history that won't be with us for much longer.


Old Coast Road Bridge
aka "The Bello Street Bridge" or "The Pismo Creek Bridge"

Railroad engineers made sure that the tracks would be laid on the most level ground possible, and take the path of least resistance. Many years later when auto roads were being constructed, they took advantage of the work that RR engineers had already done. As a result, the early roads were usually built very close to existing railroad routes. These two bridges are a good example of this. 

The railroad tracks on the left, and the coastal road on the right. To those of you that have traveled on Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1), or the Hwy 101, along the coast; can you imagine using this little road?

Not much of a road now. I'm looking for some historic photos of what it looked like back then.

 The 1911 coast road bridge


Those of you that have been around here for a long time, know that I would usually take some photos while walking across the bridge. Not this time! It is really rotting away. 


It's not much of a bridge anymore, but it does make a good trellis. 



If you look closely, especially in the upper left side, you can clearly see that this bridge is going to collapse one of these days.




Say what? That doesn't sound very refreshing.


Old Coast RR Bridge

This RR line is still in use.


1909 









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72 comments:

  1. ...Pat, old steel bridges are interesting to explore and the are many like these in this are. I too like to look at the details. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Tom! I completely agree with you. I'm much for likely to examine the details of an old thing, than the new.

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  2. Neither looks very stable.
    Interesting people have left shoes there.

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    1. HA! Oh yeah, very interesting people. Glad they weren't there when we were. The train bridge is supposedly much more stable than it looks.

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  3. Is that the same bridge that Amtrak uses for the Coast Starlight from Seattle to LA? If so, I've been over it!

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    1. Yes sir! That is the same bridge. There are some other old bridges used by Amtrak in that area.

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  4. I hate to see things like this from our past go by the wayside and rot away.

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    1. I'm right there with you Jimmy! The RR bridge is still used all the time, but it looks like it's days are numbered.

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  5. We have a bridge that looks exactly like that, the 'silver' bridge over the Big Hole river, near Divide. Nice pics, Pat. Hope you're well. It's snowing here, first snow of the year and none too soon, what with all the fires.

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    1. Hi Mike! Thanks so much. Hopefully, the snow and rain put those fires out.
      I am doing pretty darn well, for an old guy. Hope you are also well.

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  6. I don't think I would like to try and cross any of those Pat!

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    1. I totally agree about the auto bridge. The RR bridge seems to be in better shape, although rusty.

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  7. Great shots of the two different bridges. Can't say I'd want to walk across that first one either. Drink bath Water....I don't think so. - Loved the shot of the shoes hanging from the bridge.

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    1. Thanks Ida! I really don't get the "drink bath water" thing either.

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  8. Hi Pat. I love the history of the old coast road, and would be great if you could find some historical photos. That was back in the day when perhaps just a handful of people traveled it every day. So different now! Also interesting that the RR bridge outlasted the coast road bridge. Have a good weekend!

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    1. Hey Pete! Yep, the RR bridge looks to be made of much sturdier steel that the other one. I haven't even started looking for those photos. I have a feeling that it won't be hard to find at least a few. You also have a great weekend Pete.

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  9. Hi Pat,
    great photos of those bridges. It's a shame that the old coast road bridge is rotting away. Hopefully nobody will get hurt, I wouldn't walk on it either. They are great photo subjects as you demonstrated.

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    1. Hi Bill! Thanks so much. Yep, it really is a shame that "they" are just letting it rot like that.

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  10. If they are still in use then a bit of maintenance is in order.

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  11. Really enjoyable rambling with you, Pat. Great post. Seems emblematic of the condition of our 'infrastructure'. Sure hope that railway bridge is properly inspected!

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    1. Thanks so much Cloudia! You are so right about the infrastructure. The premier west coast Amtrak trains use the route, so I agree with you about that thing being properly inspected.

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  12. What gorgeous shots of the old bridge. Had to laugh at the 'Drink bath water' line!

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    1. I also laughed when I first saw those words. Thanks Fiona!

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  13. Nice rambling of the two bridges Pat.

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  14. Thanks for an interesting post, Pat. Amazing to realize the first one was built more than a century ago. Too bad that it is about to collapse. Great photos!

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    1. Thanks Marleen! Yep, another piece of our history, that might not be with us much longer.

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  15. the bridge seem to be "out of order" Great shots :)

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    1. HA! It is most certainly "out of order."

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  16. There's an old railroad bridge here that's no longer in use, looks like it's dating back to that era.

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    1. There was probably a "standard" bridge design back in those days.

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  17. I never knew about this road or these bridges - based on your photos you were wise not walking on it!

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    1. I only saw them recently Al. Being wise isn't something I'm usually called (when it comes to exploring abandoned places).

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  18. I love the photos of the bridge. Reminds me of the Chain of the Rocks bridge in Saint Louis, Missouri.

    The new banner is really beautiful too.

    Have a Happy Weekend, Pat!
    Peace :)

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    1. I'll have to put the Chain of the Rocks Bridge on my "things to see" list.
      I really like that photo also. Me in my element. Thanks so much, and you also have a nice weekend (what's left of it anyway)...

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  19. that is how the world will look one day after the apocalypse when the plants and animals take over and turn everything into trellises :)

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    1. I hope that day doesn't come for a while...

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  20. I wouldn't want to walk over (or under) that bridge now ...but I'm glad you did and took pictures. I never thought about how auto road engineers made use of paths the railroads had already forged....but of course it makes sense that they would. We grew up in Asotin County Washington, which I think is one of the very few in the country that has no railroad tracks at all.

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    1. I would't either Sallie! There is a country with no RR tracks? That is amazing!

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  21. One more pair of boots thrown over there could bring the bridge down Pat 😀 interesting that the older bridge has lasted longer, even if it is only a couple of years difference ☺

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    1. I think you are right Grace. If you saw it in person, you'd see that the RR bridge was made MUCH more sturdy than the other one.

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  22. Great shots of the bridges and the train tracks. Pretty skies too. I can understand why they built the roads near the train tracks. It sounds easier. Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a happy day and week ahead.

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    1. Thanks Eileen! You have a great week also.

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  23. Pat, I love your blog's header very much. Right now I can't take my eyes from it and wish I would be in this wonderful place.

    I like the railroads and especially old bridges. It's not so easy to find them in nowadays. And you found them. I am glad that you didn't walk on the rotten bridge. I wouldn't dare to do it also.

    The years these bridges were build bring to us the past. 1911, 1909... It's amazing that they are still there, almost untouched, telling us about the past and trying to connect it with present.

    Best wishes to you Pat.

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    1. Thanks Kaya! I really like the header photo also. Mostly because it was taken in my one of my favorite places. The RR bridge is still being used, so they do maintenance on it, but the other looks like it could collapse at any time.

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  24. Nice shots! I'd love to see some historic photos for comparison.

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    1. Thanks James! I would like to see some also.

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  25. Also love your captures of the steel of the bridges - you're right - I would not drink bath water! The rest you already know from my earlier comment (I don't see it, but it's after bed time:):) ) Many thanks for sharing this part of Pismo Beach with All Seasons, but I hope you dream about the beach itself:)

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    1. Thanks Jeannette! I'm going to be back in that same area for a couple of weeks very soon. Hope you have a great week!

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  26. What GREAT photographs, Pat! I especially love the black and white ones. That one with the hanging shoes is a STELLAR capture!

    To me, there is something very beautiful (a bitter-sweetness) to decay. Decay to me is a reminder of what "was." That's one of the things I really enjoy about living in and visiting old cities - it's the beautiful blend of the old mixed with the new.

    P.S I really like your new blog header!

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    1. Thank you so much Ron! I'm right there with you on decay. An item that shows it's age is a good thing. It's when they are allowed to fall apart, that I start to feel bad about them. I really like the header photo also. Obviously, I didn't take it, but I really do feel at home in that place.

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  27. What wonderful shots indeed and thanks for taking us on a journey. Warm greetings!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, and also for leaving a comment.

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  28. Love seeing those old bridges. Wonderful photos!

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  29. "Drink bath water?" Eww. Was there a water shortage back then too? Smiles.
    I'm glad you didn't walk across that bridge, Pat. But you still got great pictures. I don't know how you find so many interesting sights in CA that I've never before seen. But I appreciate that you do.
    Have a great week.

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    1. I hope no water shortage ever gets THAT bad! I really do look for these things. Thanks so much Robyn! You have a great week also.

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  30. I love seeing bits of history like this. I would love to see some old photos of the bridge, so be sure to let us know if you find some.

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    1. I will do an update it I find them. Thanks Betty!

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  31. Remarkable! We had a short 'dead end' track that took us to our garage in the house I was born in in the UK. Turns out it was a main road before it was diverted to make space for a railway. These old transport lines are fun to find.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. That is very interesting! We used to live on a farm that had a really long dirt driveway. Now, it's a paved road in a sub-division. Thanks Stewart!

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  32. Pretty fascinating. I hope someone isn't fooling around on that bridge when it collapses. It's hanging on by a thread. Wow. Great pics.

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  33. Thanks Barb! It's not that bad. It's hanging by two threads!

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  34. Very interesting read, Pat...I was just thinking of a roadtrip up that way today. Great photos! Thank you for sharing😊

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    1. Thanks Carolyn! We are headed back up there in a few days.

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  35. Fantastic shots Patty! You got a really good eye mate. Love that bridge! The closeups, the wides. All beautifully framed. Love that shoe shot lol. Very cool.

    Great birthday post!

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    1. Thanks so much Anthony! I think the"shoe" shot is my favorite of the group. We'll be up that way staying on Monday. I think there are plenty more things to see.

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  36. What a beautiful area! I especially love the picture with the shoes. It will be a sad day when that bridge falls and the history is gone.

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    1. Thanks Amanda! That photo (with the shoes) is also my favorite. The bridge will someday be gone, but at least it was allowed to disintegrate on it's own, and not bulldozed...

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