The Tower Bridge spans the Sacramento River, linking the City of Sacramento and the City of West Sacramento (Yolo County).
The Tower Bridge is an iconic Sacramento landmark. In 1982, the Tower Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) (#82004845). The NRHP Nomination Form provides detailed information on the Tower Bridge and includes the following (partial) statement of Exceptional Significance:
“The Tower Bridge is an outstanding example of the Moderne styling of the 1930’s applied to a utilitarian structure. The monumental, twin-towered structure is strongly reminiscent of contemporary Wellsian images of the gleeming, streamlined, towered city of the future. The application of the futuristic image which pervaded design during the 1930’s transformed an otherwise utilitarian structure into an outstanding expression of the social and architectural climate of the period.”
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The Tower Bridge was previously part of U.S. Route 40. Currently the Tower Bridge carries cars, has a walkway for pedestrians, and is maintained by the State as part of State Route 275.
When it opened in December, 1935, it had a single lane roadway with sidewalks on either side of a large center lane for trains. The railroad tracks were removed in 1963.
The Tower Bridge is a vertical lift bridge. When the draw is up there is 100 feet of vertical clearance above high water with a 172 foot wide navigation channel between the timber pier fenders.
It is always a treat to be in Old Sacramento and to watch the middle section of the bridge raised to allow a large vessel or tall sailboat to pass. A warning siren alerts cars and pedestrians, and a crossing barrier is activated to block traffic until it is safe to cross.
The Tower Bridge was painted gold in 2002 after a vote by Sacramento residents as to the preferred color. The choices were all gold, green, gold and silver, burgundy, or silver and gold. I recall the vote well as I voted for “green” and green lost. It took me a while to get used to the newly painted gold (or goldenrod yellow as some would describe it) Tower Bridge.
As I think about it in retrospect, I do not believe that a dark green would have showcased the Tower Bridge design elements anywhere near as well as does the gold. So, it was a good thing that I was on the losing end of the vote in 2002.
Question: If you voted in 2002 – what color did you vote for?
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