Vignettes > Bridges

Opening Day

In 1956, two Marin County bridges were completed almost simultaneously. On August 31, 1956, Mill Valley’s city fathers attended the celebration of the opening of the $68 million Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The 5.5-mile long double deck bridge had 3 lanes on the upper westbound deck and 3 lanes on the lower eastbound deck. On September 20, 1956, the $3.2 million Richardson Bay Bridge was completed. The 2800-feet long bridge had six concrete lanes resting on steel piles sunk through 110 feet of mud to rock bottom. It replaced an all redwood bridge that opened on November 22, 1931. Two million feet of redwood lumber went into the structure. It was the longest redwood bridge ever built.  It had a drawbridge to provide for the passage of small craft. It wasn’t until June 1933 that the drawbridge was put to practical use. Prior to the construction of the redwood bridge, traffic traveling south on 101 turned right onto East Blithedale, then left on Camino Alto, through the Tam High campus and past Almonte, Tam Valley and Manzanita.  The Redwood Bridge allowed traffic on 101 to go from the Alto Wye directly to Manzanita.

Redwood Bridge