(KTXL) — The Sacramento and American Rivers have always been major natural landmarks of Sacramento and the bridges that cross these bodies of water have been crucial to connecting the central city to the rest of the city and other communities.
The Sacramento River is the longest river in California and provides 31 percent of the state’s surface water runoff, according to the Water Education Foundation.
The many forks of the American River twist and turn from the Sierra Nevada into the deep and narrow canyons of the foothills, to its confluence with the Sacramento River in downtown Sacramento.
Here are the bridges that cross these rivers in the city of Sacramento.
Bridges that cross the Sacramento River
In the southwestern edge of the City of Sacramento is the Freeport Bridge, located near the Delta Shores shopping center, where the cities of Sacramento and Elk Grove meet. This is a vehicular bridge that is commonly used to get between Sacramento and the community of Clarksburg in Yolo County.
Pioneer Memorial Bridge
Heading north from the Freeport Bridge, the Pioneer Memorial Bridge is next. This bridge carries Highway Business 80 and Highway 50, linking the cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento.
Just north is an icon of the City of Sacramento, the Tower Bridge. This is the historic entrance into the city from the west, connecting West Sacramento and downtown Sacramento.
The bridge opened in 1935 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The bridge is a vertical-lift bridge, which is a type of movable bridge that allows boats to pass.
I Street Bridge
The I Street Bridge connects C Street in West Sacramento to I Street near Old Sacramento. The bridge is a metal truss swing bridge, a type of movable bridge that allows boat traffic to pass. The bridge also carries two sidewalks with one on either side of the roadway.
The bridge was built in 1911 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
There are currently plans in motion to construct a new bridge just north of this one that would carry vehicular and pedestrian traffic over the Sacramento River.
When that is completed, the I Street Bridge will remain, continuing to service Amtrak trains on the lower level and would convert to a pedestrian and cyclist-only section on the top level.
Caltrans Worker Memorial Bridge
Heading north from the I Street Bridge, Interstate 80 crosses from Yolo County into Sacramento County via the Caltrans Worker Memorial Bridge.
Bridges that cross the American River
Jibboom Street Bridge
The Jibboom Street Bridge is located north of the I Street Bridge and just east of where the two rivers meet.
It connects Jibboom Street near Discovery Park to the southern portion of the Natomas neighborhood and forms part of the American River Parkway Trail.
The bridge is a metal truss swing bridge and was built in 1931.
It was closed in 2017 for major repairs and fully reopened to traffic in 2019, although the only traffic that crosses it are vehicles that have entered Discovery Park and need to get from the south side of the park to the north side and vice versa.
Interstate 5 American River Bridge
This bridge is just east of the Jibboom Street Bridge and is part of Interstate 5, with five lanes in each direction.
Lincoln Highway/Highway 160
Highway 160 lanes connect North 12th and North 16th streets in Sacramento to Del Paso Boulevard or the Arden area if you stay on Highway 160.
The stretch of Highway 160 is just over two miles long, from North 16th Street to Business 80.
Pipe’s Bridge is part of the Sacramento Northern Bikeway, which goes from the area of C and 19th streets in midtown and connects to the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail.
Capital City Freeway/Business 80
The west and eastbound lanes of Business 80, also known as Capital City Freeway, connect commuters from the midtown and east Sacramento areas to Cal Expo and Arden before eventually merging with Interstate 80 farther north.
H Street/Tara O’Sullivan Memorial Bridge
The H Street Bridge was officially renamed and dedicated to fallen Sacramento Police Officer Tara O’Sullivan. This bridge connects commuters to the H and J Street area near the Sacramento State campus to Fair Oaks Boulevard in the community of Arden.
The bridge was renamed in honor of O’Sullivan in February after she died in the line of duty.
Guy West Bridge
The Guy West Bridge is for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, connecting Sacramento State to University Avenue.
The bridge is named after Sacramento State’s first president Guy West and it was designed to resemble the Golden Gate Bridge.
When it opened in 1966, the bridge was recognized at the time as the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the United States, according to Valley Community Newspapers.
There’s two railroad bridges that connect parts of the city separated by the American River. Both of the railroads are used Union Pacific, a freight-hauling railroad company.
One of the bridges the company uses is nearby the Pipe’s Bridge while the other is further along the American River near Interstate 80.
Howe Avenue and Watt Avenue bridges
These two bridges carry major roadways on the east end of Sacramento and serve as connections to roadways that lead to access points for people trying to reach the river.
East of these bridges are others, but those are located in other cities, the foothills and the Sierra Nevada.