Belden Bridge Project


The Belden Bridge (No. 9C-0042) is a riveted steel through truss bridge with a CIP/RC deck. The Belden Bridge was constructed in 1913 originally as part of a railroad spur. It is eligible for the National Register.

The bridge serves as the sole vehicular access to the Belden Town Resort. The only other access would be via rail on the Union Pacific main line through the Feather River Canyon.


Project work will consist of:

  • Cleaning and painting the truss
  • Minor rehabilitation of the truss

A significant item to be addressed during the process will be how the structure can be cleaned and painted while maintaining access to the residents, Pacific Gas & Electric crews, and Union Pacific Railroad crews in addition to maintaining access for emergency crews particularly U.S. Forest Service fire suppression personnel and equipment.

Project Location

The Belden Bridge spans the North Fork Feather River at the town of Belden, approximately 29 miles west of Quincy, on California State Highway 70. The Belden Bridge provides access from Highway 70 to the small town of Belden, located on the south side of the river.


Existing Bridge

The Belden Bridge is a steel, rigid connection, one-lane, one-span Pratt-style bridge, 104 feet long. It was built in 1913 by the American Bridge Company for the Oro Light and Power Company and served as a Western Pacific Railroad spur used in the delivery of building materials for the Yellow Creek Powerhouse.

Once the highway was completed in 1937, the bridge was converted to a single-lane highway bridge serving as a link to Highway 24 (now 70) for residents and the Belden community.

According to a 1985 CALTRANS bridge report, it is historically significant under Criterion A, as a key link in an important highway and Criterion C, as a distinctive example of a type, method, and period of construction.

Find more on the history of the Belden Bridge


IMG_2479_720x540.jpgNew wheel guards were installed in 2011.

Project Purpose and Need

The purpose of the project is to address deficiencies reported in the CALTRANS deficiency reports to increase the longevity of the present bridge. Some of these deficiencies have been reported for over a decade and only spot repairs have been made. The project would provide for a complete resolution of the deficiencies

Project Time Table

A consultant will be selected in the Spring of 2014 with a construction schedule provided thereafter.