Foothill Boulevard bridge removal

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I watched Sunday morning as the old railroad bridge in Rancho Cucamonga was removed. (Click here for 28 photos by DB photographer Jennifer Cappuccio Maher.) I took a few photos myself, presented here.

The first shows the bridge being lifted. (That’s Councilwoman Diane Williams at right taking photos!)

The second shows the bridge a few minutes later, being swung parallel to the road.

In the third, workers hurriedly build blocks for the bridge to temporarily rest on as the 165-ton structure is suspended above them. Yikes.

From there a trailer was slipped under the bridge and it was moved a few yards east to a turnout for dismantling. It was resting there Monday morning.

The final photo shows the crossing on Monday morning, looking east, mimicking the photo here from last Wednesday, only without the bridge this time. To quote John Lennon: “Above us only sky.”

* My Wednesday column is about the bridge removal.

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  • Juanita Fovall Meier

    This is a sad day, too many sad days in Southern California. The citrus groves are gone, ocean polluted, Big Bear makes fake snow, & on & on. My Grandma’s house is now a Drs. office in Chino, plus the dairies are gone. Good thing I’m gone too! All for the sake of progress, it’s up to every individual to decide how all this 50 years has affected them & if they are ok with the tremendous growth in So Cal. I know one thing when I grew up there it was a paradise, now I hardly that word would come close. To all that remember, Jaunita

  • Annette Murellson

    Hello,
    That bridge has been there for a while. Going to miss seeing it as drive thru there. Time changes everything. I use to drive thru there all the time, hope they have plans to do something nice.

  • http://www.goddessofgareyavenue.tk/ goga

    Wider roads make for a less intimate city, expanding the wasteland evermore.

  • Charles Bentley

    GREETINGS:
    I am among the first to comment on how things are different now from when I grew up here, not very far from where this bridge once stood. Do I miss those days? Certainly. But would I say everything was perfect back then? Far from it!

    I am glad they are finally improving this extremely dangerous section of Foothill Blvd. Those above (and elsewhere) who long for the days of yesteryear and mourn the loss of this “historic” edifice I will bet never had to walk or ride their bike under it! Or had to turn on Baker Avenue, worried that the driver behind wouldn’t see the turn signal and fail to slow down in time (the turn lane on the eastbound side wasn’t always there, you see).

    Yes, there was a time when it was quaint and fit into the flow of life in Bear Gulch and Cucamonga. But those days and that pace isn’t what we live today. We cannot halt change; we can only hope to channel it and do what we can make life safer for those who follow.

    Paradise doesn’t have to become a parking lot — you must be the change you wish to see in the world. To Juanita, I’m sorry that the Southern California you recall no longer exists. But you speak of 50 years ago. What of the 50 years before that? And the 50 before that? Your vision of “paradise” was far from it for those who knew the region in the 1930s, or the 1880s. It’s all in your point of view. Besides, trying to capture life in a bottle only leads to stagnation.

    David, you do a wonderful job of helping create a written history of the memories people have of this area. This is what so many of us enjoy. Your blog is a repository for things remembered. For those of us who post comments, it’s up to us to provide a record, sharing our memories and our experiences.

    So long bridge over troubled Foothill. I’ll remember you but I won’t miss you.

    [Thank you, as always, for contributing to the written record here, Charles. -- DA]

  • Mike Delaney

    Why didn’t the City save money and just refurbish the bridge. If the bridge was good enough for a train then I think a few bikes would be fine. I have lived in Alta Loma since late 1968, I’ve seen the growth over the years. I think it is a shame to remove the historical value of what is left in the city. Did we really need a new bridge. I understand they are making Foothill wider. What’s next?

    [The bridge isn't long enough to span such a dramatically wider road. -- DA]

  • donna lopez

    I can go back as far as 1963. That bridge was there, and no trains ever passed over that I knew of. I believe change is for the best in this matter because for those who can go back in time they used to call it…”DEAD MAN’S CURVE.” Lots of accidents happened there. Many lives were taken. I’m surprised it took so long.

  • Jerrie Foss

    As a relative newcomer to the Inland Valley (I was born and raised in Covina and spent most of my time in points west. I moved to Rancho when I married 11 years ago) I can say I always thought the bridge was sort of cool but also something of an eyesore.

    Entering R.C. from that point made me think of going under the tunnels at Disneyland. You know, the ones at the entrance with the signs that read, “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” But not in a good way. Going through the R.C. tunnel was uncomfortable, even nerve-wracking sometimes. And that area is just ugly. I often wondered what people expected the city to be like if that was our “gateway.” Now I think it will be nice. It will make a nice statement about our city.

    Finally, lately I’ve found that people who are ultra-nostalgic for the city where they spent their formative years, no longer live there. There’s a Facebook page called “I Grew Up In Covina” and people go on and on about how beautiful it is and what a great city it is. And all I can think is, “Have you been there lately?”

    [Jerrie, thanks for the comments, and make a good point about the perils of nostalgia. -- DA]

  • JohnTee

    Re. Ms Maher’s 28 photos. I see one photo and a long list of “products” for sale. Bummer.

    [You need to click on "slideshow" and you'll see all 28. -- DA]

  • Derek Christensen

    Actually, the bridge and RR tracks were still used by trains (former Pacific Electric route, eventually owned by Southern Pacific) up into the late 1980′s or early 1990′s.

    I used to hear the locomotive climbing the grade from the bridge up to/beyond Baseline Road, particularly late at night. Eventually, the line was closed, tracks abandoned and then removed due to lack of need/usage.

  • Matt

    A Sad Day: Slaves To Big Oil

    This RAIL line built two of the three towns that make up our fair city and by tearing it out and denying the Metro Gold Line entrance into the city we have doomed ourselves to a stagnant automobile-based economy. Metro Gold Line NOW!!!

    The Metro Gold Line was going to come right through the northern part of the city along the Pacific Electric RAILWAY then turn south on Milliken to Victoria Gardens (20 million visitors per year) then to the Ontario Mills Mall (26 million visitors per year) then to the Ontario Airport. This route was the #1 choice when choosing where the train should go, yet the bureaucrats, nimby neighbors, the bus union, and Omnitrans decided to deny this historic railway access through the city.

    Not to mention the city of R.C. did not want any riff raff coming in from San Bernardino Union Station where the line would have eventually ended. Nor did they want to lose shoppers to Pasadena or Los Angeles.

    Why did they did not extend the Metro Gold Line along the center of the 210 freeway from Pasadena through Rancho, Fontana, Rialto, to San Bernardino? Answer…cars, buses, cars, buses, cars, buses. Look at Redlands. They are building a light rail line along their old railway that connects the city to San Bernardino Union Station and also connects them to the rest of Los Angeles.