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Drought Unveils History

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Tuolumne County, CA — Historic artifacts, including a bridge used prior to the construction of New Melones Reservoir, are coming to the surface.

The bridge shown in the above picture is visible from Parrotts Ferry Road. In another photo, you can also see clearly the road that connected to the bridge. Construction of New Melones Reservoir started in 1966 and it was completed in 1979. It was one of the last major dams constructed in the state, and that is partly due to the loud environmental protests it generated at the time.

New Melones Reservoir is currently at 18% of capacity and 28% of the historical average. As of this morning, the reservoir is holding 431,534 acre ft. of water, compared to 762,843 acre ft. at this time last year. The reservoir has the capacity to hold 2.4-million acre ft. The bridge, and other artifacts of the past era, could become more visible as the hot summer months continue.

  • New Melones Parrotts Ferry Old Bridge
  • New Melones Reservoir
  • Closer View of Bridge Submerged In New Melones
  • Road Connecting To Bridge Visible
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