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May 15, 2012

I Street Bridge
100th Anniversary

    The I Street Bridge was the Access in this part of California to cross the Sacramento River. There were two older bridges, but no longer standing, so this is the oldest standing bridge across the Sacramento River. It is the heaviest swing bridge in the United States. Two men died by falling from the upper deck during construction. The bridge was completed in 1912 at a cost of one million dollars to build; money ran out and West Sacramento provided the balance. The bridge is often referred to as the "Jib Boom Street Bridge" because the road that parallels it on the river is Jib Boom Street.

    Up to the early 1950's you would see rails into the water where ships were built by the largest ship building area not on the coast. Sacramento serviced fifty ships a day. There were no roads through the delta at that time, only ferrys, in fact, twenty-seven ferrys to cross the delta. At one time a pony express bridge here but it collapsed in 1866, so to go from Sacramento to West Sacramento one had to cross on a ferryonly. Horses had to be unhitched from wagons for their safety. Finally down to one ferry to San Francisco.

    Wheat from the north traveled through here; however, once roads were built, wheat crops in northern California died out, so, farmers went to rice, and, most of the rice went to the orient so the deep water channel to West Sacramento was created.

    The I street bridge changed all the agriculture in California and therefore propose that we call our August Doins the "100th Anniversary of the I Street Bridge Doins."

Reported by,

Brother Don "Peanut Butter" Breeland, well known Historian Extraordinaire

webmaster's note: the I Street bridge, aka "the Jib Boom Bridge," aka, "the black bridge,"
is a two level bridge; the upper deck is for surface street traffic, the lower deck is for the
railroad - freight and passenger trains.