Colorado Street Bridge (Pasadena, California)

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Colorado Street Bridge
Pasadena Colorado Street Bridge 2005.jpg
Colorado Street Bridge seen from the Arroyo Seco below
Location Pasadena, California
Coordinates 34°08′41″N 118°09′49″W / 34.14472°N 118.16361°W / 34.14472; -118.16361Coordinates: 34°08′41″N 118°09′49″W / 34.14472°N 118.16361°W / 34.14472; -118.16361
Built 1913
Architect Waddell & Harrington
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 81000156[1]
Added to NRHP February 12, 1981

The Colorado Street Bridge is a historic concrete arch bridge spanning the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, California.


The Colorado Street Bridge next to the bridge for the Ventura Freeway, also known as the Arroyo Seco Bridge.
The Colorado Street Bridge, with the San Gabriel mountains in the background, around 1920.

The Colorado Street Bridge was designed and built in 1913 by the firm of Waddell & Harrington, based in Kansas City, Missouri. The structure carries Colorado Boulevard (then called "Colorado Street"), the major east-west thoroughfare connecting Pasadena with Eagle Rock and Glendale to the west, and with Monrovia to the east. It spans 1,486 feet (453 m) and is notable for its distinctive Beaux Arts arches, light standards, and railings. The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

In the 1970s, the bridge was a filming location in Episode 13 of the TV series Emergency! fifth season where a boy was shown trapped (the bridge was given the fictitious name Johnson Canyon Bridge in the episode).[citation needed] In 1989, after the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California, the bridge was declared a seismic hazard and closed to traffic. It was reopened in 1993 after a substantial retrofit. The bridge is closed each summer for a festival, "A Celebration on the Colorado Street Bridge", hosted by historic preservation group Pasadena Heritage.[2]

The bridge was site of the beginning of The Amazing Race season 21. The contestants had to rappel down the side of the bridge to their waiting cars to start the race.[citation needed]

"Suicide Bridge"[edit]

During the early part of the twentieth century, the Colorado Street Bridge became known locally as "Suicide Bridge", after dozens of people leapt to their deaths. A barrier was installed in an effort to deter suicides, but the bridge retained its nickname. To this day, some still use the bridge as a means to end their lives. For example, on October 27, 2015, British-American model and reality television star Sam Sarpong committed suicide by jumping from the bridge.[3]

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