Guy West Bridge

The Guy West Bridge is a suspension bridge for pedestrian and bicycle traffic spanning the American River in Sacramento in Sacramento County, California, linking the campus of California State University, Sacramento with the neighboring Campus Commons development. It was designed to resemble the Golden Gate Bridge, both in form and signature international orange color.

Guy A West Bridge
Guy West Bridge (5248634716).jpg
Guy West Bridge
Coordinates38°33′44″N 121°25′14″W / 38.562202°N 121.420510°W / 38.562202; -121.420510Coordinates: 38°33′44″N 121°25′14″W / 38.562202°N 121.420510°W / 38.562202; -121.420510
Carriespedestrian and bicycle traffic
CrossesAmerican River
Named forGuy West
OwnerCity of Sacramento
DesignSuspension bridge
Total length1,144 feet (349 m)
Width16 feet (4.9 m)
Height87 feet (27 m)
No. of spans1
Piers in water2
DesignerThe Spink Corporation
Constructed byA. Teichert & Son
Fabrication byAmerican Bridge Division, United States Steel Corporation
Inaugurated6 April 1967


The Guy West Bridge is named after the first president of Sacramento State, Guy West.[1] At the time of its opening in 1967, the Guy West Bridge was hailed as the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the United States.[2] The bridge cost approximately US$636,000 (equivalent to $4,880,000 in 2019) to construct,[1] and it was named a special prize winner in the 1968 AISC steel bridges contest.[3] Steel for the bridge was supplied by U.S. Steel, American Bridge Division in South San Francisco, California.[4]

Closures and repairsEdit

The Guy West Bridge in fog.

The bridge was closed between May and July 1987 after three suspender cables (connecting the deck to the overhead suspension cable) failed. All of the suspender cables were X-rayed during the closure, and the three suspender cables, along with three neighboring suspender cables were replaced, with some damage noted to all suspender cables.[5] A draft root cause investigation identified the potential for fatigue and corrosion damage in the overhead suspension cables.[6] The final root cause concluded in 1990 that the suspender cables had failed in fatigue at the top of the socket connector to the bridge deck. Since the fatigue was caused by swaying in the overhead suspension cables relative to the bridge deck, all suspender cables were potentially vulnerable to fatigue failure. The most cost-effective repair that would maintain the aesthetic appearance of the current structure was complete replacement of the suspender cables on a periodic basis (estimated at 20–25 years).[7]

A later study, completed in 2011, found that many components of the bridge were in good condition, with the notable exception of the original lead-based paint. The coating had failed, allowing some surface corrosion in many places.[8] The 2011 study also found several fractured wires in the southern main suspension cable, which were promptly tested to determine the root cause of failure (determined to be fatigue) and to effect immediate repairs.[8] The bridge was closed on weekends in the summer and fall of 2014 to remove the original lead-based paint and give it a fresh coat of international orange.[9] The repainting and other minor repairs were slated to cost in excess of US$3,000,000 (equivalent to $3,240,000 in 2019).[10]

In mediaEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "The (Green and) Golden Gate: Who was Guy West anyway?". Sac State Magazine. California State University, Sacramento. Fall 2005. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  2. ^ Armstrong, Lance (8 September 2010). "The Guy A. West Memorial Bridge: Sacramento's own 'Golden Gate Bridge'". Valley Community Newspapers. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Prize Bridges 1968" (PDF). American Institute of Steel Construction. 1968. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  4. ^ "U.S. Steel, American Bridge Division American River Pedestrian Bridge (replica of the Golden Gate Bridge), Sacramento". Bits of History. Peninsula Library System. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  5. ^ Lee, Robert L. (26 April 1988). "Ownership and Maintenance of the Guy West Bridge". Letter to Budget and Finance/Transportation and Community Development Committee. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  6. ^ Finley, Thomas M. (10 May 1988). "Investigation and Repair of Suspender Cables on the Guy West Bridge (PN:HA51) - Amendment No. 1 to Consultant Services Agreement (City Agreement Number 87096)". Letter to Budget and Finance Committee. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  7. ^ Finley, Thomas M. (4 September 1990). "Investigation and Repair of Suspender Cables on the Guy West Bridge (PN:HA51) - For Committee Information". Letter to Transportation and Community Development Committee. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  8. ^ a b ESA (November 2013). Guy West Bridge Restoration Project: Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for Anticipated Subsequent Projects Under the 2030 General Plan Master EIR (PDF) (Report). City of Sacramento. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  9. ^ Malone, Matthew (17 September 2014). "Guy West Bridge undergoes a massive makeover". The State Hornet. Sacramento, California. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  10. ^ Lillis, Ryan (19 May 2014). "City Beat: Sacramento State bridge to soon get makeover". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 10 June 2016.

External linksEdit