Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Yuma bridge connects oceans

Ocean to Ocean Bridge
Yuma, Arizona, has always been an important player desert southwest’s transportation system.  That’s because it was considered the safest place to cross the Lower Colorado River. Native Americans and early Spanish explorers crossed the river here.

As transportation evolved from horse-drawn to horse-powered vehicles, travelers needed a new way to cross the Lower Colorado. Enter the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge, so called because it linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with a land route through the southern United States.

The bridge, which connects Yuma in the south with Fort Yuma across the river in the north, was built in 1914. At that time, it was the only vehicle bridge crossing for 1,200 miles.

The bridge is still in use today. It was closed for 14 years beginning in 1988, but was restored and reopened in 2002. While the bridge is 336 feet long, it is only one lane wide. Traffic lights t each end control the flow of vehicles across the bridge. 

The bridge is part of the Yuma Crossing National Historic Landmark. Pivot Point Interpretive Plaza and the Quartermaster Depot also are part of this landmark.



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