Foresthill Bridge

Coordinates: 38°55′21″N 121°02′19″W / 38.9224°N 121.0387°W / 38.9224; -121.0387
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Foresthill Bridge
Southern face of the Auburn-Foresthill Bridge
Coordinates38°55′21″N 121°02′19″W / 38.9224°N 121.0387°W / 38.9224; -121.0387
CarriesAutomobile and pedestrian traffic
CrossesNorth Fork American River
LocaleNorth Auburn,
Placer County, California
Total length2,428 feet (740 m)
Longest span862 feet (263 m)
Clearance below730 feet (220 m)[1]
Daily trafficlow

The Foresthill Bridge, also referred to as the Auburn-Foresthill Bridge or the Auburn Bridge, is a road bridge crossing over the North Fork American River in Placer County and the Sierra Nevada foothills, in eastern California. It is the highest bridge by deck height in California, the fourth highest in the United States, and among the seventy highest in the world at 730 feet (220 m) above the river.[1]

Aerial view of Foresthill Bridge


Originally constructed to replace a river-level crossing of the American River that would have been flooded by the reservoir that would have been created by the unbuilt Auburn Dam, the deck of the steel cantilever bridge stands 730 feet (220 m) above the river.[1] It was fabricated in 1971 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan, built by Willamette Western Contractors, and opened in 1973. The bridge spans the North Fork of the American River in Placer County between the city of Auburn and the town of Foresthill in the Sierra Nevada foothills.[2] Pedestrians can walk the length of the bridge in both directions. There was anti-Auburn Dam graffiti, showing protest of the planned dam, on the bridge's underside.

A seismic retrofit project began in January 2011 and was completed in 2015, with an estimated cost of $74.4 million.[3][4] The original bridge cost less than $13 million.

In media[edit]

The bridge can be seen in the beginning of the 2002 film XXX [5] in which Vin Diesel's character Xander Cage is seen driving a stolen red Chevrolet Corvette off it, then jumping from the car mid-flight and parachuting to his accomplices at the bottom of the American River Canyon.

It also appears in a montage sequence toward the end of the romantic comedy The Ugly Truth,[6] and has been utilized in multiple exercise equipment advertisements.


Due to its height, the bridge is a noteworthy suicide site. As of February 2024, there have been 102 suicides since the bridge's construction.[7] As part of the bridge's 2011–2015 renovations, a 6+12-foot-tall (2.0 m) pedestrian barrier was installed to prevent further attempts.[8]

Bridge Fire (2021)[edit]

The Bridge Fire, which burned under the Foresthill Bridge, started on September 5 and burned for a total of 9 days. 411 acres (166 ha) were burned, with CAL-FIRE reporting one injury.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Auburn-Foresthill Bridge". Highest Eric Sakowski. January 17, 2015. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  2. ^ Auburn-Foresthill Bridge at Structurae
  3. ^ Auburn Journal. "Placer supes OK $65 million in Foresthill Bridge contracts". Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  4. ^ "Placer County:Foresthill Bridge Project". Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  5. ^ XXX (2002) - Trivia
  6. ^ Auburn Journal. "Foresthill Bridge shot spans scenic moment for new film". Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  7. ^ Stacey Adams (13 February 2024). "Monday suicide confirmed at Foresthill Bridge". Gold Country Media. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  8. ^ Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer. "Higher Foresthill Bridge barriers poised for installation". Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  9. ^ Cal Fire. "Bridge Fire". Retrieved 2021-09-06.

External links[edit]