The Majestic Colorado Street Bridge

Jul 28, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Synonymous with Pasadena, is the Colorado Street Bridge. My heartfelt devotion to magnificent archways, architecture, form, and function, was satiated during my visit.

Build in 1913, the Colorado Street Bridge, spans the Arroyo Seco, and is an east-west connector from Pasadena, to Eagle Rock and Glendale.

History of the Colorado Street Bridge

The sheer size of the Colorado Bridge–spanning, 1,486 feet—is a sight to behold and is a bit overwhelming. In 1989, after the Loma Prieta earthquake, the bridge was declared a seismic hazard and closed to traffic.

In 1993, however, it was then reopened after a substantial retrofit.

Looking up

In order to photograph and research this magnificent structure, I took a path less travelled– a rather unused trail, with two sets of immense old steps.

Steps going up

Steps going up

Bridges to Nowhere and Everywhere

Just thinking about bridges brings to mind powerful metaphors, songs, stories, reflections, thoughts, and other emotions having to do with a “bridge.”

For Example:

  • Listening to a bridge song–59th Street Bridge by Simon and Garfunkel
  • Playing a hand of bridge
  • Placing your reading glasses on the bridge of your nose
  • Reading a book about a bridge–The Bridges of Madison County
  • Having a bridge put into your teeth
  • A bridge movie classic–Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Using the bridge in a billiards game
  • Jumping off a Bridge

And as I don’t want to “Burn any Bridges” or “Build a Bridge to Nowhere,” I’ll leave you with a quote by Alex Haley:

“In every conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, and a bridge to our future. “

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10 Responses to “The Majestic Colorado Street Bridge”

  1. Jan says:

    Lisa, thanks for the post. Love the photos, they were well worth the hike.

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Jan, Thanks, Jan. I’m heading back there to do the full trail. I only hiked a portion of it.

    [Reply]

  2. David says:

    Gorgeous pictures of Pasadena’s Colorado Bridge, and you’ve totally captured the rustic feel of the canyon’s steps and trail–it’s like I’m right there.

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @David, I tried to being it to you, so I’m glad I was successful, even in a small way.

    [Reply]

  3. Diane C. says:

    What a wonderful old bridge. Glad they were able to shore it up after the quake. Those steps look so inviting.

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Diane C., The steps were so well used, but not really part of the trail. As I walked up and down them, I wondered who had walked here before me.

    [Reply]

  4. Lance says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I think bridges are so fascinating! And in this one, I really love the path you had to take, with those steps!

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Lance,
    A path leading to a bridge. I wonder if there’s a larger post in that thought. :)

    [Reply]

  5. Davina says:

    Hi Lisa. I was thinking about The Bridges of Madison County when I started reading this post and then, lo and behold, you mentioned it. This bridge is breathtaking.

    [Reply]

    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Davina, It’s a classic. I hope you have a great relaxing weekend fulled with a good book and a soft seat. :)

    [Reply]

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