Foothill Boulevard bridge, RC

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Here’s a last look at the quaint railroad bridge over Foothill Boulevard on the west side of Rancho Cucamonga. I shot this Wednesday morning from the west side of the bridge, looking east. The bridge, installed in 1929, will be removed by crane Sunday. Did you know it weighs 110 tons?

From there the street will be widened to six lanes over the course of the next 18 months. A new concrete bridge will be built for the wider span. Rather than trains, the bridge now carries cyclists and walkers as part of the Pacific Electric Trail. They’ll need to detour. This weekend, so will motorists, as that stretch of Foothill will be closed from 7 a.m. Saturday until 7 a.m. Monday.

Here’s the recent story explaining the whole thing. And here’s the Bulletin’s latest piece on the history of the bridge.

I’ll miss the bridge and the rural charm of that portion of Foothill, from the Sycamore Inn almost to Vineyard Avenue. I’ll also miss the “Narrow Subway” signs with the flashing beacon on each end of the bridge. Soon it will be narrow no more.

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  • Ren

    Well it’s too bad they couldn’t take it to a park. What a shame. More history going to the scrap yard.

  • Tracey

    I agree with Ren. Why not use it in a shopping center, or Chaffey College, or something like that? I used to live right by that bridge, I could see it from my back yard, and now I drive under it every day while working. Rancho Cucamonga keeps destroying its own history.

  • Tricia Boss

    NO!!!! It just won’t be the same!

    I remember riding through there on foggy mornings on the school bus terrified that we would hit the wall, but we never did. My dad used to work at the Sycamore Inn years ago, plus we stayed at the little hotel after the floods hit our home — Red Cross put us up. And, my grandfather always said Bear Gulch wrong — sounded like clutch.

    Removing that bridge will just make everything look so different. On the other hand, it will be a safer road. Oh, well, so much for progress.

  • Actually, Ren, the city will display a portion of the bridge at a trailhead park nearby. The rest will be recycled.

  • Brent

    Another very old bridge that closed over 40 years ago lies within a mile +/- of the Foothill Blvd. bridge.

    The road through it became a dead end, but the bridge is still standing, hidden behind a chain link fence and tall grass (at least it was hidden a few months ago).

    I lived right below it, and can’t even remember the name of the street that ran under it from Foothill north to Carnelian/ Vineyard. Some not so old maps show it as San Diego Ave. There is a San Diego Ave in the tract just NE of the intersection (once known as “The Coral Homes”).

    The bridge can be seen near the center of this Google Map.

    The Bike trail runs right over it (surprise). Its shadow is rectangular (with one corner missing). Zoom in. You can’t miss it.

  • Will Plunkett

    The newspaper had a picture of an artist’s rendition of the new Route 66 bridge sign there, which will certainly look different, but perhaps a bit too showy.

    Once I heard that the Pacific Electric Trail that passes over it would be detoured while they work on this, I did a little bike riding. It’s a unique point of view to see the road from above like that, as well as the paths behind the homes and parks along the way (quite a bit of wildlife: a hawk, some bunnies, smaller birds, reptiles, etc.).

  • Ramona

    Every time I drive under the bridge I involuntarily inhale to make myself (and my car??) thinner so I don’t hit the side. I also duck my head slightly for fear of hitting the top. So far, these maneuvers have worked well and I get under with no casualties.

    I hope I can still find the Sycamore Inn once the changes are complete since we have always used the bridge as a landmark. I usually go to dinner there with friends every couple of years. We dress up and “pretend we are somebody.”

    I’m all for progress despite being an old crock but I hate to see progress made at the sacrifice of history. Thanks for the photo of the sign — I’d love to have it — and the bridge, David. At least we’ll have that to refer to and show later generations. Think they’ll be impressed?

    [Probably not. But we do what we can. — DA]

  • Ronald Scott

    Well at least I rode my bike over it before they closed it. That bridge was as much a part of the IE as a lot of other icons that are no longer up. I think there should be an outdoor Inland Empire Museum that can have all these signs and relics put there.

  • jk

    The bike trail is part of the old Pacific Electric line. The majority of the PE line in LA has been converted back to commuter rail. Our section of the PE rail line connects into the LA system. Converting to a bike trail, removing the bridge, is a waste of money. It will be a commuter rail line again in the future.

    [Not sure where you’re getting your information, but very little of the PE line has been converted back to commuter rail. — DA]

  • Will Plunkett

    They started the demolition Saturday, and I joined the throngs (read: more than two) of people watching from the corner. Later, around dusk, I walked as far as I could along the trail, but their fences kept me out. Check out the photos on my Facebook page (under the “Pacific Electric Trail” album, some ‘before’ and some ‘after’) if you wish.

  • Ronald Scott

    Don’t think JK has been on the Pacific Trail since they paved it for bikes…put lights in for bikes to cross…installed water fountains all along it etc. Doesn’t seem like they are changing it to commuter rail to me.

    [Nor to me. I was told the bridge will be built to rail specifications, though. — DA]

  • Sparky

    I’ve had to walk under it as a pedestrian on Foothill. There’s no sidewalk; you have to walk in a traffic lane. My life flashed in front of my eyes. One of these days, somebody was gonna get hurt and they were gonna get sued. Good riddance, I say.

  • Tanya

    It would have been nice if they could have somehow kept the original bridge — maybe incorporate it into the new wider one. I won’t deny the road definitely needs to be widened, but if they can build an entire freeway under Euclid without destroying it, why couldn’t they somehow extend the bridge and widen the road? My guess is money. I just wish they would realize that sometimes it’s worth spending a few extra dollars to preserve history!