Monday, April 11, 2016

A Drawbridge for Bikes!

   The Bay Farm Island Bridge is a draw bridge that connects Alameda Island and Bay Farm 'Island' (not really an island...) in the Bay area:

Bridge location in the Bay area

   What sets this bridge apart is that the Bay Farm Island Bike Bridge, which is a bicycle and pedestrian raising bridge alongside the automotive raising bridge! This encourages cyclists to ride between the islands without having to leave the bike path.

Bridge raised

   The Bike Bridge spans 125 feet and is the only drawbridge exclusively for bicycles and pedestrians in the US. It was build from '93 - '95 at a cost of 3.5 million dollars. That seems like a lot, but the 125 foot moving part is only a piece of the 800+ foot bridge.

Bridge entrance

   This bridge has some history. The original bridge was constructed in 1854 and had an oyster shell surface, whatever that means. The bike bridge differs form most other bridges that use gears to operate. The bike bridge uses a hydraulic system to operate two pistons raising and lowering the bridge.

Google Map View 
(Bike Bridge on right)

   Drawbridges just for bicycles!

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