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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Off the hook

As cell phones proliferate, public pay phones are dwindling. AT&T is getting out of the pay phone business, announcing it plans to sell its 65,000 pay phones around the country, including 21,000 in California, by the end of 2008. Verizon will be the last major company still in the business. (There are an estimated 1 million pay phones in the U.S., down from 2.1 million in 1999.)

While the Inland Valley still has plenty of pay phones, I’m always on the lookout for old-fashioned enclosed phone booths, the kind Superman liked to use.

They’re an endangered species. I can think of two, one at the Chino Airport, outside of Flo’s Cafe, and one in Ontario, next to Juanita’s. They’re the worse for wear, but they’re there. When I visited Flo’s a few months back, I checked the phone for a dial tone and was reassured to find one.

Know of any others?

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