Hey take a look at this... a blog post of mine that is not about a National Park and not even on my "Bucket List". But best of all it was a surprise to us when we left Lassen Volcanic National Park and spent the night in Redding, CA. Who knew that this relatively new bridge was in this quaint little city? Well not us... that is until we saw a photo of it when we checked into our hotel. The first thing we did was to find out where this bridge was located and how to get there.
The person at the front desk told us how to get there and then told us that we should go right before dusk in order to see it as the sun was going down and then to be able to see it with its pathway across it lit up at night.
The Sundial Bridge provides pedestrian access to the north and south areas of Turtle Bay Exploration Park, a complex containing environmental, art and history museums and the McConnell Arboretum and Gardens, and it forms the gateway to the ten-mile-long Sacramento River Trail.
Drift boats of fishermen are often seen passing beneath the bridge as they fish for salmon, steel-head and rainbow trout. In the distance, Mount Shasta is barely visible. Shasta Bally is visible to the West looking upstream in the Sacramento.
It was designed by Santiago Calatrava and completed in 2004 at a cost of US$23,500,000. The bridge has become iconic for Redding. Sundial Bridge who's Official name is really Sundial Bridge and it Carries Bicycles and pedestrians as it Crosses the Sacramento River there in Redding.
Its design is called a Cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge. Its Total length is 700 ft (213 m) and its Width 23 ft (7 m) with a clearance below of 26 ft (8 m) In opened July 4, 2004 and as you can tell from its name... spans the Sacramento River in Redding, California, United States and forms a large sundial.
The bridge celebrates human creativity and ingenuity, important themes of the 300 acre Turtle Bay Exploration Park. The steel, glass, and granite span evokes a sense of weightlessness and the translucent, non-skid decking provides for spectacular viewing at night.
The bridge is also environmentally sensitive to its river setting. The tall pylon and cable stays allow the bridge to avoid the nearby salmon-spawning habitat there are no supports in the water while encouraging public appreciation for the river.
Plazas are situated at both ends of the bridge for public use; the north-side plaza stretches to the water allowing patrons to sit at the river’s edge. We did go down to the one at the other end of the bridge from the Park side and determined there was not much down there to see (at least at night) with the exception of the lit up bridge from the bottom side.
All in all we really did enjoy this little surprise side trip. Sometimes a destination can really be a trip... other times the trip is really the destination. I am not sure exactly what I meant by that, but it sounds profound... or is that more that is sounds confusing? “Too often. . .I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.”
~ Louis L’Amour