Colorado Street Bridge (Pasadena, California)
Colorado Street Bridge
|Coordinates||34°08′42″N 118°09′50″W / 34.145°N 118.164°W|
|Crosses||Arroyo Seco (Los Angeles County)|
|Owner||City of Pasadena|
|Total length||1,467.5 feet (447.3 m)|
|Width||38 feet (11.6 m)|
|Height||148.5 feet (45.3 m)|
|Longest span||233 feet (71 m)|
|No. of lanes||2|
|Designer||Waddell & Harrington|
|Constructed by||J. D. Mercerau|
|Construction start||July 1912|
|Construction cost||$240,000 (1913)|
|Opened||December 12, 1913|
Colorado Street Bridge
|NRHP reference No.||81000156|
|Added to NRHP||February 12, 1981|
|Designated CRHR||February 12, 1981|
The Colorado Street Bridge is a historic concrete arch bridge spanning the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, California.
The Colorado Street Bridge was designed and built in 1912 at a total cost of $191,000 (equivalent to $5,167,153 in 2021). The bridge was designed 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. The Colorado Street Bridge replaced the small Scoville Bridge located near the bottom of the Arroyo Seco. It opened on December 13, 1913.
The bridge follows a curved path so that the footings would sit on more solid ground than a straight bridge would have provided. The bridge spans 1,468 feet (447 m) at a maximum height of 150 feet (50 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 California Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2022)
This section possibly contains original research. (November 2022)
During the early part of the 20th century, the Colorado Street Bridge became known locally as "Suicide Bridge" after dozens of people leaped to their deaths. The bridge had a bad reputation before it was even built, as a construction worker fell to his death and landed in the wet cement under the bridge.
The number of deaths spiked during the Great Depression, but did not stop there. One of the most popular stories was about a woman and her child. One night, the mother took her child and herself to the bridge and was ready to end her life. She threw her baby first and then jumped, plummeting to her death. The child survived, as it landed in a tree unharmed, but the mother successfully ended her life.
The balustrade was replaced by an 8-foot-high (2.4 m) barrier in an effort to deter suicides. Still, on October 27, 2015, British-American model and reality television star Sam Sarpong leapt to his death.
In 2016 a 10-foot-high (3.0 m) chain link fence was installed on the sidewalk inside the balustrade, blocking the seating alcoves which were believed to be the primary route taken by jumpers. In 2017, there were nine deaths. In 2018, there were four by September. After police spent 13 hours successfully negotiating with a would-be jumper, these temporary barrier fences were extended to cover the entire bridge span. The city plans to replace the temporary fencing with permanent barriers, at least 7.5 feet (2.3 m) in height.
One of the earliest films in which the bridge appears is in Charlie Chaplin's The Kid (filmed 1919–1920), when a mother is shown at the east end of the bridge pining for her son at about the 12-minute mark. 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.
An episode from the eighth season of the series Full House, "Leap of Faith", featured the bridge in a bungee jumping scene. The bridge was depicted as being in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The bridge is featured in an episode of Fear Factor. The stunt, named "Bridge Hang", required contestants to hang from a trapeze bar hoisted over the edge of the bridge for as long as they could to avoid being eliminated. Host Joe Rogan does not refer to the bridge by name; rather, he says “This bridge used to be known as Suicide Bridge. Don’t worry, we’re not gonna ask you to jump off of it. Instead, we’re gonna ask you to hang on for dear life.”
The 2012 Lana Del Rey song "Summertime Sadness" for the album Born To Die filmed parts of its music video on the bridge. Actress Jaime King is seen climbing over a section of the bridge and then jumping off later in the video.
The bridge was the 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.
In the 2016 romantic musical film La La Land, the protagonists took an evening stroll across the bridge.
In the 2008 film Yes Man, the bridge was featured in a scene where actor Jim Carrey attempts a bungee jump.
The bridge can often be seen during the road tests for vehicles on the popular YouTube series Jay Leno's Garage.
The Colorado Street Bridge next to the bridge for the Ventura Freeway, also known as the Pioneers Bridge.
The Colorado Street Bridge, with the San Gabriel mountains in the background, around 1920.
- ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
- ^ Pasadena's Colorado Street Bridge Celebrates 100th Anniversary, 17 June 2013, retrieved 4 August 2014
- ^ "Archives - Los Angeles Times".
- ^ Segal, Matthew (2018-06-18). "The Complicated Case of the Colorado Street Bridge". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
- ^ "Colorado Street Bridge—Route 66: A Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary". U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
- ^ Gold, Lauren (November 28, 2013). "Pasadena Museum of History Celebrates Colorado Street Bridge Centennial". Pasadena Star-News. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- ^ "Police Spent 7 Hours Talking to Sam Sarpong Before His Apparent Suicide". 29 October 2015.
- ^ Latest suicide attempt prompts city manager to expand fencing on Colorado Street Bridge, 6 September 2018, retrieved 19 December 2018
- ^ Pasadena is extending temporary fencing on Colorado Street Bridge to deter suicide attempts, 4 September 2018, retrieved 19 December 2018
- ^ Pasadena Heritage Presents a Celebration on the Colorado Street Bridge Archived 2008-05-12 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ "Fear Factor Moments | Bridge Hang". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2020-10-21.
- ^ Nordyke, Kimberlya (October 1, 2012). "'Amazing Race': First Eliminated Team Reacts to 'Devastating' Finish". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- ^ Jordan Rane, Did you love 'La La Land'? This L.A. trip is for you, CNN Travel
- ^ "Jim Carrey bungee jumps off the West Colorado Blvd bridge for his new film Yes Man, in Pasadena, Ca". alamy. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
- ^ Pasadena Pioneers Bridge
- ^ Pasadena: Public Memorials and Monuments Archived 2016-06-08 at the Wayback Machine
- City of Pasadena's History Page, with a historic postcard view of the bridge.
- Colorado Street Bridge Pasadena, California, National Park Service
- History of the Colorado Street Bridge from Pasadena Heritage
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. CA-58, "Colorado Street Bridge", 13 photos, 34 data pages, 2 photo caption pages
- Colorado Street Bridge at Structurae
- Bridges in Los Angeles County, California
- Buildings and structures in Pasadena, California
- Arroyo Seco (Los Angeles County)
- Concrete bridges in California
- Bridges completed in 1913
- Bridges on U.S. Route 66
- Road bridges on the National Register of Historic Places in California
- Buildings and structures on the National Register of Historic Places in Pasadena, California
- Historic American Engineering Record in California
- 1913 establishments in California
- Open-spandrel deck arch bridges in the United States