Tower Bridge – Sacramento, California - Atlas Obscura

Tower Bridge

Art Deco stylings conceal the true nature of this bridge. 


While it’s hard to miss this bright, golden structure while speeding by on US 50, it’s what visitors don’t see that makes this bridge unique.

Constructed in 1935, the center section of this bridge lifts 100 feet above the Sacramento River, allowing large watercraft to pass below. Unlike typical vertical lift bridges, the towers were shrouded in steel to conceal the inner-workings. Beneath the gleaming facade are the counterweights for the 1,150-ton center span. Two 100 horsepower electric motors are all that is needed to lift the deck.

The Streamline Moderne style of architecture adds a sleek appearance to an otherwise utilitarian design. This type of Art Deco style was more commonly used in buildings and vehicles. The Tower Bridge is a rare example of this style used on a bridge.

Although it’s made of steel, in keeping with its Streamline Moderne styling, it was originally painted silver to represent aluminum.

The bridge is operated by the state and is designated as State Route 275. At 738 feet long, it is one of the shortest state highways in California

Atlas Obscura Trips

City of Secrets: Underground in Los Angeles

On this an insider’s journey into the City of Angeles, we'll discover the murals and art of the famous Arts district with a resident artist, clink glasses at an underground speakeasy, and hike through hidden ruins with a suspicious past, all in pursuit of the less angelic side of the City of Angels.