100th Anniversary of the Bridge Department

Celebrating 100 years of Bridge Department serving California

Established in 1923, the Bridge Department was a premier bridge-building organization from 1923 to 1973.  The Bridge Department joined Caltrans in 1973, where it continued the state's efforts in designing safe and reliable bridges.

A Brief History of the Bridge Department

  • 1923 Creation of Bridge Department
  • 1933 San Francisco Bay Bridge
  • 1935 Sacramento's Tower Bridge Inauguration
  • 1940 Russian Gulch Bridge.
  • 1969 Coronado Bridge
  • 1973 Governor Ronald Reagan merged the Bridge Department, the Division of Highways, and the Department of Public Works to established the Department of Transportation.
  • 1974 Russian Gulch Bridge was renamed  Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge
  • 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and major Bridge Rebuilding
  • 1994 Northridge Earthquake and major Bridge Rebuilding
  • 2009 Confusion Hill Bridges
  • 2013 San Francisco Bay Bridge Retrofit

Divisions of Engineering Services Sub-Divisions  


Bridge Design

Executive - Office of Strategic Quality Management

Geotechnical Services

Materials Engineering and Testing Services

Program/Project Management and Office Engineer

Structure Construction

Structures and Engineering Services