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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
Clear Creek Crossing At Arvada
Arvada, Colorado

Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge

• Bridge: Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
• City: Arvada
• State: Colorado
• Country: USA
• Carries: Pedestrians & Bicycles
• Crosses: Clear Creek
• Date Opened: October, 2001
• Total Length: 400 Feet (Estimated)
• Longest Span: 175 Feet (Estimated)
• Tower Height: 100 Feet (Estimated)
• Deck Width: 14 Feet (Estimated)
• Number Of Spans: 1
• Height Above Creek: 21 Feet (Estimated)
The first gold was discovered in Colorado when a wagon train heading to California stopped along Clear Creek, and Lewis Ralston dipped his pan into a small stream and found 1/4 ounce of gold. The creek was named after Ralston, who continued west and only returned 8 years later. In reality, local Native Americans discovered this gold years before, and actually had named the area with a word that meant gold mine. The gold soon played out, with the real riches in Arvada being very productive farm land.

In the modern era, the City of Arvada purchased the land at the confluence of Ralston Creek and Clear Creek (near Interstate highway I-76 and Sheridan Boulevard for a park to commemorate the mining history in the region as well as the original reason that Arvada was founded. The centerpiece of this park is a 400 foot long curved cable stay bridge that connects the Clear Creek Trail to the Ralston Creek Trail. These trails are well used and connect to other major trails in the Denver Area, such as the Front Range Trail and South Platte Trail.

The photo above is a view of the Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge as seen from the Ralston Creek Trail as it approaches the west end of the structure. The photo below is the first of five showing a typical crossing of the bridge walking west to east. This first view is from the parking area at the trailhead on West 56th Avenue just off of Ralston Road.

Note—these are iPhone 5 photos which imposes an upper limit on their quality.


Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
The photo above is the west approach to the bridge on Ralston Creek Trail. The photo below is a view of the midpoint of the suspended spans of the bridge, with the main bridge tower located in the center of the photo. The interchange of Interstate highway I-76 and Sheridan Boulevard is located in the background.

Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
The photo above is the transition from the east end of the suspended spans and the concrete slab approach spans. The photo below is the east approach to the bridge.

Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
The photo above is another view of the transition between the suspended spans and the approach spans on the east end of the bridge. The photo below are the approach spans as the descend to the east bridge abutment. The vantage point for these two photos is the Clear Creek Trail, which passes under the east end of the Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge.

Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
The photo above is a ground-level view of the suspended spans looking to the northwest from the Clear Creek Trail. The photo below is looking northeast from the south bank of Clear Creek. Given the trees and the length of time since the structure was built, there are no unobstructed views of either side of the bridge.

Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
The photo above is the top of the main bridge tower showing two sets of cable attachment points. The photo below is a closer view of one of the cable attachment points, showing that there are actually two cables on each side of the tower.

Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
The photo above is a detail view of a cable attachment point on the bridge deck structure. The photo below is a view of the bridge railing on the suspended bridge deck, showing both a cable attachment as well as a light built into the bridge deck.

Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
The photo above is a close view of the connection between a suspension cable and the hardware that attaches it to the bridge structure. The photo below is another view of the transition from the approach spans to the suspended spans. The large diameter pipe on the side of the suspended span is a main beam for the bridge deck, which is supported by the stay cables. The deck is built between two parallel pipes. A gradual bend in the pipe creates the curve in the bridge deck, something that would have been hard to do with more traditional I-beams.

Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
The photo above is a view looking to the southwest towards the concrete slab approach spans. The photo below is a view from under the approach spans of one of the bridge piers. The white object on the pier is a light fixture.

Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge
These two photos are pieces of gold mining equipment that is on display at the trailhead. There are other displays and interpretive signs that explain the discovery of gold and history of mining at this site.

Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
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