The Foresthill Bridge, the tallest bridge in California at 731 feet above the North fork of the American river is 11 months into a 3 year project with 2 objectives. The first is the seismic retrofit of the bridge to meet current earthquake standards as well as removing lead paint from the bridge and repainting the 1/2 mile span. Sherri Burexa project manager says the 58 million dollar project is being done by Golden State Bridge out of the bay area, who does the regular maintenance for the Golden Gate Bridge, they were also the low bidder and after all the state and federal funding, Placer county is paying 4 million dollars of the cost.
“The seismic project is 88.53% funded through a federal program for highways and bridges and the match is covered by a state program. It’s Prop 1B. It covers seismic programs. For the paint portion of the project, again, it’s 88.53% covered by a Highway bridge program and then the match of that is covered by the county. So out of a 58 million dollar project, the county picks up about four million.”
The original bridge cost less than 13 million dollars. The bridge, Originally constructed to accompany the unbuilt Auburn Dam, built in 1971 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan, by Willamette Western Contractors, opened in 1973. Pedestrians can walk the length of the bridge in both directions. The bridge can be seen in the beginning of the action movie xXx in which Vin Diesel’s character Xander Cage is seen driving a stolen red Chevrolet Corvette off of it, then jumping from the car mid-flight and parachuting to his accomplices at the bottom of the American River Canyon.