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The Foresthill Bridge, also referred to as the Auburn-Foresthill Bridge or the Auburn Bridge, is a road bridge crossing over the North Fork American River in Placer County and the Sierra Nevada foothills, in eastern California. It is the highest bridge by deck height in California, and the fourth highest in the United States at 730 feet (220 m) above the river.[1]

Foresthill Bridge
Foresthill Bridge @ American River Confluence April 27 2008.jpg
Southern face of the Auburn-Foresthill Bridge
Coordinates 38°55′21″N 121°02′19″W / 38.9224°N 121.0387°W / 38.9224; -121.0387Coordinates: 38°55′21″N 121°02′19″W / 38.9224°N 121.0387°W / 38.9224; -121.0387
Carries Automobiles, Pedestrian traffic
Crosses North Fork American River
Locale Sierra Nevada,
Placer County, California
Total length 2,428 feet (740 m)
Longest span 862 feet (263 m)
Clearance below 730 feet (220 m)[1]
Opened 1973
Daily traffic low



Originally constructed to accommodate the unbuilt Auburn Dam, the deck of the steel deck arch bridge stands 730 feet (220 m) above the river.[1] It was fabricated in 1971 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan, built by Willamette Western Contractors, and opened in 1973. The bridge spans the North Fork of the American River in Placer County between the city of Auburn and the town of Foresthill in the Sierra Nevada foothills.[2] Pedestrians can walk the length of the bridge in both directions. There is anti-Auburn Dam graffiti, showing protest of the planned dam, on the bridge's underside.

A seismic retrofit project began in January 2011 and was completed in 2015, with an estimated cost of $74.4 million.[3][4] The original bridge cost less than $13 million.

In mediaEdit

The bridge can be seen in the beginning of the 2002 film XXX [5] in which Vin Diesel's character Xander Cage is seen driving a stolen red Chevrolet Corvette off of it, then jumping from the car mid-flight and parachuting to his accomplices at the bottom of the American River Canyon.

It also appears in a montage sequence toward the end of the romantic comedy The Ugly Truth,[6] and has been utilized in multiple exercise equipment advertisements.


Due to its height, the bridge is a noteworthy suicide site. As of the middle of 2016, there have been 76 suicides since the bridge's construction.[7] As part of the bridge's 2011-2015 renovations, a 6½ foot tall pedestrian barrier was installed to prevent further attempts.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Auburn-Foresthill Bridge". Highest Eric Sakowski. January 17, 2015. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016. 
  2. ^ Auburn-Foresthill Bridge at Structurae
  3. ^ Auburn Journal. "Placer supes OK $65 million in Foresthill Bridge contracts". Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  4. ^ "Placer County:Foresthill Bridge Project". Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  5. ^ XXX (2002) - Trivia
  6. ^ Auburn Journal. "Foresthill Bridge shot spans scenic moment for new film". Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  7. ^ Gus Thomson (27 June 2016). "Placerville man jumps to his death from Foresthill Bridge". Auburn Journal. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  8. ^ Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer. "Higher Foresthill Bridge barriers poised for installation". Retrieved 2017-05-22. 

External linksEdit