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Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay - Moonlight Sonata for Strings | by encouragement
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Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay - Moonlight Sonata for Strings

Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay - Moonlight Sonata for Strings

Sacramento River

Redding, California


Click here to see the entire set of Sundial Bridge Photos


The Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay is a single spar (tower or pylon), inclined-cantilever cable-stayed bridge over the Sacramento River in Redding, California, USA. The 700-foot long, 23-foot wide bicycle- and pedestrian-only bridge gets its name from a unique design feature – its 217-ft high tower is also a working sundial! Almost nothing about this bridge is conventional. Its spar is inclined; its cables (all 4,300 lineal feet of them) pass through the deck to points off of the center axis; its trusses are comprised of light weight tube steel and rolled steel sections; and its deck is primarily glass! It’s a visual sensation to engineers, architects and the general public alike. The bluish-green glass and granite pavers on the bridge deck are a stunning combination by day, but the bridge’s architectural lighting provides a sight like none other at night. The majority of the hefty $23 million cost to design and construct the bridge was funded by the McConnell Foundation, a local private institution. Opening day was July 4, 2004.


At the project’s outset, the City of Redding and its design/funding partners retained world-renowned Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava to bring an idea from concept to completion. The result was a structure that became the centerpiece of the 300 acre Turtle Bay Exploration Park, an extensive and multifaceted cultural center. Calatrava’s contributions elsewhere in the world are renowned (for instance the new PATH transportation terminal at the World Trade Center site in New York City and the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece), but he is not the first world famous designer to work in this relatively small, out the way town; Frank Lloyd Wright accepted a commission to design the the Congregational Church here in the 1950’s.


The Turtle Bay Exploration Park includes the Turtle Bay Museum, an underwater flora/fauna viewing area, the “Paul Bunyan Forest Camp” Children’s Play Area, the McConnell Arboretum (200 acres including the Mediterranean Climate Gardens, Enjoyment Gardens, California Garden, South African Garden, Pacific Rim Garden, Australian Garden, Chilean Garden, Medicinal Garden, Butterfly Garden and Children's Garden), historical monuments and the Café at Turtle Bay. This truly is an amazing venue woven between man and nature.


Original caption based on public information. Copyright 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Photo copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved. No use of the photo or caption is authorized without my express written consent.


Geotagged Location

Latitude 40°35'32.47"N

Longitude 122°22'39.30"W

40.59235, -122.37758


Sundial Bridge Awards Include:


2005 Eugene C. Figg Jr. Medal For Signature Bridges - Awarded for a single recent outstanding achievement in bridge engineering that, through vision and innovation, provides an icon to the community for which it was designed.


2005 Caltrans Tranny Award – Project of the Year


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Taken on April 17, 2008