Tuolumne River Bridge – Yosemite National Park CA


New Deal agencies realigned and reconstructed the Old Tioga road from 1933 to 1943, from Crane Flat to Tuolumne Meadows.  An important element of the road project was the bridge over the Tuolumne River, just east of the Tuolumne Meadows campground. The bridge was constructed in 1933-34.

Funding came from the Public Works Administration (PWA); the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) managed construction, using private companies; and the National Park Service (NPS) oversaw all work in the park.

The Tuolumne River bridge is a modern design of steel beams and concrete, but is dressed up with stone siding to accord with the National Park Service’s preferred ‘Rustic’ style.

The 45-mile long Tioga Road is the highest mountain highway in California.  The original road was constructed in the early 1880s in order to access mining areas. Within a few years, the mines played out and the road was abandoned and subject to washouts. In 1890, Yosemite National Park was created and some improvements were made to the deteriorated road. In 1925, the National Park Service and Bureau of Public Roads (U.S. Department of Agriculture) signed a Memorandum of Agreement to construct new roads within the park.  Planning, surveying and some construction took place in the late 1920s and early 1930s, but most of the work was done during the New Deal years.

The full reconstruction of the Tioga road was not completed until 1961.

Source notes

HAER report on Tioga Road https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Tioga_Road_(HAER_No._CA-149)_written_historical_and_descriptive_data
(this report contains some errors as to the New Deal agencies)

[need to check for HAER report on the bridge, if it exists]

Project originally submitted by John Broesamle on February 8, 2022.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Tuolumne Meadows
Yosemite National Park, CA 94389

Coordinates: 37.87601, -119.3547

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