The out-of-service rail bridge is immediately west of the Miller-Sweeney road bridge that connects Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland with Tilden Way in Alameda. This lift bridge was constructed in 1951 to replace an earlier bridge that originally served the SP interurban trains from San Francisco (SP's Interurban Electric Railway discontinued service in 1941). From 1951 until September 11, 1996, the Southern Pacific Railroad operated freight service across the bridge to serve shippers in Alameda and to connect with the Alameda Belt Line railroad. After SP was acquired by Union Pacific on September 11, 1996, UP provided infrequent service to Alameda until service was discontinued in 2000. The right-of-way still exists through the East Bay, however, the tracks on both sides of the bridge have been severed and the span remains raised at 65 feet above water level, except when operated for maintenance and testing. Although unused, tracks still exist in Alameda on Blanding Ave. and Clement St. The bridge is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is operated by the County of Alameda. The Miller-Sweeney bridge tender, a county employee, operates the railroad bridge from controls in the Miller-Sweeney control house. The last train across the bridge ran in 2000.
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