Historic Highway Bridges of California

Caltrans Historic Highway Bridge Inventory

This well-written and beautifully illustrated 189 page book applies some of the results of the 1984-1986 Caltrans Historic Highway Bridge Inventory to a narrative history of bridges and bridge building in California.

Chapters 1 and 2 cover the bridge-building institutions in the state and the engineers and contractors responsible for the important early structures. Chapters 3 through 8 each discuss a specific bridge type using key historical examples. The bridge types discussed include: covered bridges; stone arch bridges, metal truss bridges; concrete bridges; movable bridges; and the big bridges of the San Francisco Bay. Each of these chapters is introduced by a graphic illustration of the bridge type with the parts labeled, and illustrated with an excellent mix of historical and contemporary black and white photos. Chapter 9 discusses some of the bridges we have lost over the years, and the status of bridge preservation in California. The methodology of the survey is explained in detail in an appendix to the book. Also included in an appendix is a county by county guide to the location of all 280 historic bridges on state highways in California.

Copies of Historic Highway Bridges of California are available. Contact the Cultural Studies Office, Caltrans, PO Box 942874, MS 27, Sacramento, CA, 94271-0001.


Historic Preservation and Caltrans:  Archaeology Brochure

This beautifully illustrated brochure, written and published by the Division of Environmental Analysis, is one of three brochures that elucidate Caltrans' responsibilities for and approaches to compliance with environmental law. The other one is Historic Preservation and Caltrans: Buildings and Bridges.

Archaeology details the work of the Archaeology Branches at Headquarters and the Cultural Resource units in the District Environmental Branches. Divided into eleven sections, the 32-page brochure discusses the Cultural Resource Management Laws with which Caltrans is required to comply and Caltrans' philosophy regarding these legal obligations. Several case studies illustrate approaches Caltrans has taken to specific archaeological sites throughout the state to protect California's patrimony while delivering the transportation projects. Examples of cases in which Caltrans has worked closely with Native Americans, when our projects have had a potential for affecting a Native American site, are also presented. A case involving obsidian source analysis and hydration studies illustrates the type of special studies undertaken by Caltrans expert archaeologists.

Download the Archaeology brochure (PDF) (19.59 MB)


Historic Preservation and Caltrans: Buildings and Bridges Brochure

Historic Preservation and Caltrans: Buildings and Bridges provides a concise outline of how the consideration of history and architectural resources are integrated into Caltrans planning process. Examples are provided for various highway projects, including the Etiwanda Windbreaks, one of the first historic landscapes determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Sections are also provided on "Managing State-Owned Properties" and "Themes and Contexts".

Download the Buildings and Bridges brochure (PDF) (7.38 MB)