Strange, exotic journey for Folsom’s Historic Truss Bridge

Folsom: City of Bridges
By: Don Chaddock/The Telegraph
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One local bridge has crossed two rivers and traveled more than 600 miles. The Historic Steel Truss Bridge now serves as a pedestrian and bicycle crossing for the American River, but in the decades between the 1930s and 1990s, it served as the bridge over the Klamath River near the Oregon border. Originally constructed in 1893 in Folsom, the truss bridge had outlived its usefulness when the Rainbow Bridge was built in 1919 just down river. The truss bridge was closed and in 1931 it was sold for $250, ripped from the banks of the American River, and moved to the Klamath River. There it sat until another bridge was constructed nearby, forcing it to be closed once again. It was returned to Folsom, in its original location, in the late 1990s. About 60 percent of the bridge was reused but many components had to be replaced due to age. According to Senior Civil Engineer Dave Nugen, with the Folsom Public Works department, the city regularly works on the historic span. “We do all the maintenance on the structure,” Nugen said. “It’s inspected every couple of years.” He said the bridge’s antique design requires a lot of attention. “It has to be adjusted with all the connections,” he said. “It hangs, basically, in the air. All the different turnbuckles and connections are maintained, tightened and adjusted.” Returning the bridge to Folsom cost $1.9 million, he said. Sodhi Singh Bura, of Antelope, enjoys the variety of outdoor activity in the town. “I live in Antelope and came here to rest from India,” he said. “The truss bridge is nice. All the bridges look very nice. I’ve been here two months now and come from Antelope to ride my bike.” FAST FACTS -- Listed on National Register of Historic Places -- 330 feet long -- Built in 1893 in Folsom -- Moved to Klamath River after it was sold in 1931 for $250 -- Returned to original site in Folsom in 1999 -- Cost to return bridge: $1.9 million