National Register of Historic Places in Placer County

National Register #04000014: Mountain Quarry Cement Bridge 26 February 2008
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National Register #04000014
Mountain Quarry Cement Bridge
AKA Mountain Quarries Bridge
AKA No Hands Bridge
North Fork of the American River
Auburn
Built 1912

In the early 1900's the Pacific Portland Cement Company built a special railroad line that connected their limestone quarry near Junction Bar with the Southern Pacific main line at Auburn.

At the time of its construction in 1912, the bridge was the longest concrete skew arch railroad bridge in the world and demonstrated that concrete was a practical material for long bridges. The bridge stands today as a proud monument to early day engineering and to the men who worked with somewhat primitive tools to create it.

The bridge has withstood the tugging of American River currents for almost a century. It stayed on its footings when the Hell Hole Dam broke in December of 1964 and took out two modern bridges upstream. It also withstood the Valentine Day Flood of 1986 which caused the destruction of a 200-foot earth-filled coffer dam a few miles further down river.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination.

The bridge no longer carries vehicular traffic. It is open to equestrians, cyclists, and pedestrians as part the Western States Pioneer Express Recreation Trail which follows the old railroad right-of-way.

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