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General Information

Completion: December 1963
Status: in use

Project Type

Structure: Deck arch bridge
Support conditions:
Function / usage: Road bridge
Material: Steel bridge
Plan view: Structurae Plus

Awards and Distinctions

1964 award winner  


Location: , , ,
Address: San Marcos Pass Road
Coordinates: 34° 31' 33.99" N    119° 50' 3.98" W
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Technical Information


total length 371 m
arch arch span 213 m


arches steel
piers on arch steel

Excerpt from Wikipedia

The Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge in the Santa Ynez Mountains links Santa Barbara, California with Santa Ynez, California. The bridge is signed as part of State Route 154.

It is currently the highest arch bridge in the U.S. state of California and among the highest bridges in the United States. At its highest point, the bridge deck is 400 ft (122 m) above the canyon floor. The bridge is also the largest steel arch bridge in the state. It was determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places with exceptional significance.


The current bridge was completed and opened to traffic in February 1964. It was constructed by U.S Steel Corp's American Bridge division and Massman Construction Co. The structure won awards for engineering, design, and beauty. It was in the top 5 longest span arch bridges of this "supported deck" type in the world until the 1990s.

Cold Spring Tavern, originally a stagecoach stop, is approximately 600m south of the bridge's west base in the canyon below, on a stub of Old San Marcos Pass Road (now named Stagecoach Rd.) connecting with SR 154 at Camino Cielo and Paradise Roads.

The bridge was designated as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1976.

Seismic retrofitting was completed in 1998 by American Bridge, one of the companies involved in the original construction.


As of March 2012[update], the bridge had been the site of 55 suicides since its completion, which is about one per year on average; however, some years have several more suicides, such as the eight deaths recorded in 2009. In an effort to prevent future incidents, California Department of Transportation installed a 9.5 ft (2.9 m) tall barrier in the form of an inwardly-curved, finely-gridded mesh fence in March 2012. The fence cost $3.2 million. A Santa Monica man committed suicide from the bridge six months later in September 2012 but there have been none since then.

Text imported from Wikipedia article "Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge" and modified on 26 May 2021 according to the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.


Initial construction
Seismic retrofit

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