Top 10 Famous Bridges in California

California is home to some of the most amazing buildings in the United States. The state on the West Coast also features some of the most iconic bridges in the world.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most famous bridges in California, structures that define the most populous state in the country.

1. Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is without a doubt the most famous of all amazing bridges in California. It spans the Golden Gate just north of San Francisco and connects the city to marine County.

It was the tallest and longest suspension bridge upon completion in 1937 with a length of 1,280 (4,200 feet) and a height of 227 meters (746 feet). It’s considered to be the most photographed bridge in the world.

Famous bridges in California Golden Gate Bridge
The stunning Golden Gate Bridge / Wiki Commons

2. Vincent Thomas Bridge

The Vincent Thomas Bridge is a bridge in the Port of Los Angeles and connects the neighborhood of San Pedro with Terminal Island. This is a largely artificial island that is used for part activities and industry.

The bridge has a length of 1,847 meters (6,060 feet) and is a remarkable bridge in California because it was the first welded suspension bridge in the United States upon completion in 1963.

Vincent Thomas Bridge
Vincent Thomas Bridge / Wiki Commons

3. Bixby Creek Bridge

The Bixby Creek Bridge is one of the multiple amazing bridges in California on the state’s Big Sur Coast. This is a mountainous area on the Central Coast of California which means that the views in this area are pretty amazing.

The stunning bridge was constructed between 1931 and 1932 and allowed travelers to pass along the coast instead of having to travel via the Old Coast Road. It was the highest single-span arch bridge in the world upon completion with a height of 85 meters (280 feet).

Bixby Creek Bridge California
Bixby Creek Bridge in California / Ian McWilliams / Wiki Commons

4. San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge

The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge is often referred to as the Bay Bridge and is another amazing bridge in San Francisco. It spans San Francisco Bay in the northeastern part of the city and opened 6 months before the Golden Gate Bridge in 1936.

The bridge consists of 2 different parts. The Western section connects downtown San Francisco to Yerba Buena Island whole the eastern part connects the island to Oakland. The eastern section was completely rebuilt, a project that was completed in 2013.

San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge
San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge / Carolyn / Wiki Commons

5. Tower Bridge, Sacramento

The Tower Bridge in Sacramento shouldn’t be confused with Tower Bridge in London. It’s located in Sacramento which is the capital city of California. It spans the Sacramento River and connects West Sacramento with the city of Sacramento.

The bridge was constructed in the 1930s and replaced an older bridge in this location that was named the M Street Bridge. This original bridge was a swing through-truss railroad bridge. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Tower Bridge Sacramento
Tower Bridge in Sacramento / Michael Grindstaff / Wiki Commons

6. San Diego–Coronado Bridge

The San Diego–Coronado Bridge crosses the San Diego Bay and connects the city of San Diego in southern California with the resort city of Coronado. It’s one of the longest bridges in California with a length of 3,407 meters (11,179 feet).

The bridge opened for traffic in 199 which was the 200th anniversary of the city of San Diego. The prestressed concrete and steel girder bridge is supported by 27 concrete girders and was the longest of its kind in the world upon completion.

San Diego-Coronado Bridge
Aerial view of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge / Wiki Commons

7. Colorado Street Bridge

The Colorado Street Bridge spans the Arroyo Seco, a seasonal river and canyon in the city of Pasadena. It’s another historic bridge in California with an extensive history as it was constructed in the year 1912.

The fact that it was constructed in the early 20th century reflects in the bridge’s decorations. This Beaux-Arts structure features ornamented arches, railings, and lanterns which made it one of the most fascinating bridges in the United States.

Colorado Street Bridge
Colorado Street Bridge / Wiki Commons

8. Foresthill Bridge

The Foresthill Bridge is also known as the “Auburn-Foresthill Bridge” or simply the “Auburn Bridge,” a reference to its location in North Auburn. It spans the North Fork American River in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

It’s the 4th-highest bridge in the United States and the highest bridge in California by deck height. The bridge was completed in 1973 and it reaches an incredible height of 220 meters (730 feet) above the river below.

Foresthill Bridge
Foresthill Bridge / Wiki Commons

9. Sundial Bridge

The Sundial Bridge is also known as the “Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay” and is a modern bridge in Redding, California. It was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava (born in 1951), a man who has designed numerous modernist buildings all around the world.

The bridge was completed in 2004 and cost a whopping $23.5 million to build. The bridge provides a connection between the northern and southern parts of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park, a non-profit attraction featuring a museum, forestry and wildlife center, arboretum, and botanical gardens.

Sundial Bridge california bridges
Sundial Bridge / Peter Alfred Hess / Wiki Commons

10. Richmond–San Rafael Bridge

The Richmond–San Rafael Bridge is one of the most impressive bridges in California. It has a total length of 8.85 kilometers (5.5 miles) and is the northernmost of the east-west crossings of San Francisco Bay, connecting the cities of Richmond and San Rafael.

The bridge was constructed between 1953 and 1956 for a cost of $62 million. This is the equivalent of over $590 million today. It features an astounding 77 spans and 70 piers stand in the water. It’s a double-decked bridge and a combination of a cantilever and truss bridge.

San Rafael Bridge
Richmond – San Rafael Bridge / David Abercrombie / Wiki Commons