Historic Knights Ferry Bridge Closed Indefinitely
Knights Ferry, CA – The Knights Ferry Bridge off Highway 108/120 and east of Oakdale is the longest covered wooden bridge west of the Mississippi River and has been closed indefinitely, but the recent wicked weather is not to blame.
Significant wood deterioration was found after a structural analysis at the end of last year. The 159-year-old bridge was shut down on December 30th as crews found that the 330-foot span’s stability had been compromised. The Army Corps of Engineers, which has been limiting the number of people on the pedestrian-only bridge since July, will remain closed to all pedestrian traffic until either temporary supports are installed or a full rehabilitation is completed. The rest of the Knights Ferry Recreation Area will remain open for daytime use. The Sonora Bridge near the historic bridge is open, allowing vehicles and pedestrians to cross the river.
Built in 1863, the bridge is considered one of the best-preserved 19th-century wood-iron Howe truss bridges and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Consultations with the California State Historic Preservation Office will ensure that all modifications to the bridge safeguard its historic status.
(Reporter Nic Peterson contributed to this story)