Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Placer County, California Bridges: Auburn Ravine Viaduct across I-80 (3)

August 2012 (38.896 Degrees, -121.0805 Degrees) Auburn Ravine Viaduct
One last photo of the Auburn Ravine Viaduct.

When they were first constructing the railroad through Auburn (in the 1860s), they had to make some deep cuts west of town and they built a long (100 ft tall by 500 ft long) timber trestle bridge across Deep Gulch east of town. The trestle bridge is now gone but Bloomer Cut, which is 800 ft long and 63 ft deep remains in use today. All of this work was done with horses, dynamite, and Chinese laborers. By the time the railroad was complete, 20,000 workers had been brought over from Southern China.
Note that there are two railway lines going through Auburn today. The line to the east is where Bloomer Cut is located and there's another line 100 yards to the west, which is carried over I-80 by the Auburn Ravine Viaduct (see photo below).
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Placer County, California Bridges: Auburn Ravine Viaduct across I-80 (3) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.


  1. Bloomer Cut construction was begun in February, 1864, and completed in March, 1865. Charles Crocker and his foreman, Strobridge, did not hire Chinese workers until they hit deep cuts 3 miles EAST of Auburn, at what is now Clipper Gap. No Chinese were employed in the dig at Bloomer Cut.
    G J Chris Graves
    Chairman,Committe for What is Truth in Railroad History
    Newcastle, Cal. MP: 31

  2. Ouch. First, dynamite was not invented until 1867, Bloomer was cut with black powder. Second, both Crocker and Strobridge testified that "about" 10,000 to 11,000 laborers were used to construct the railroad over the Sierra, 90% were Chinese. Third, Chinese were not hired until March, 1865, this
    ABOVE Auburn, while Bloomer is BELOW Auburn. Fourth, a "viaduct" consists of masonry footings. None such used in Placer County, 1863-1869. Fifth, the Deep Gulch trestle was replaced by Tunnel "0" in 1873. Deep; Gulch is some 5 miles EAST of Auburn.
    G J Chris Graves