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CA Town Celebrates Bridge's 100th Birthday

Friday, February 15, 2019

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The town of Folsom, California, is celebrating its historic Rainbow Bridge turning 100 years old with 100 days of events, including an exhibit dedicated to the structure, a bridge design contest and a presentation on the structure’s history.

The Rainbow Bridge, originally opening Feb. 10, 1919, was constructed to provide a two-lane option for heavier traffic. According to, the Rainbow Bridge is a concrete arch structure, and was built as a replacement for the Folsom Truss Bridge.

Rainbow Bridge Birthday

According to the Sacramento Bee, the concrete arch structure was the fourth-largest arch span in the world when it was built. It was known as the American River Bridge until the 1950s; at that time, a resident suggested a more “vibrant name” the structure as something to use for postcards.

“The open-spandrel arch, with cutouts between the arch and the roadway, was a popular design in the early 1900s made possible by strengthening concrete with reinforcing steel,” the city writes in a press release.

To commemorate the bridge’s 100th year, festivities kicked off Feb. 10, which are planned to last until May 4. Festivities are slated to include:

  • A Rainbow Bridge exhibit at the Gallery at 48 Natoma, by the Folsom Arts Association, featuring a variety of paintings, photographs and other art that focus on the iconic image of the structure, beginning in March;
  • An overview of the bridge’s history, titled “Rainbow Bridge: from Construction to Centennial,” provided by the Folsom Public Library, beginning in March;
  • Four area schools and several engineering firms will participate in a Rainbow Bridge design contest, where students will create model structures and engineers will test them, with judging taking place May 4; and
  • Historic walking tours, which will take place in May.



Tagged categories: Bridges; Historic Structures; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

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