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Dumbarton Bridge

From Academic Kids

The Dumbarton Bridge is the southernmost of the highway bridges that span the San Francisco Bay in California. It is also the shortest. Its eastern terminus is in Fremont, near Newark in the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and its western terminus is in Menlo Park. The current bridge is the second bridge in this location and was opened in 1984. The earlier bridge (a drawbridge) was opened in January 1927. Portions of the old bridge remain as fishing piers. The bridge has three lanes in each direction, plus a separated bike/pedestrian lane. Currently there is a toll charge of $3 for cars travelling east to west.

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Dumbarton-Bridge.jpg
Dumbarton Bridge

The bridge never was officially named, but the common use name comes from Dumbarton Point, which dates to 1876 when it was named for Dumbarton in Scotland.

A parallel railroad bridge runs to the south. The rail bridge is currently unused, but a successful March 2004 regional transportation ballot measure included funding to rehabilitate the rail bridge for commuter rail service.

The bridge is part of California State Highway 84.

The bridge is directly connected to Interstate 880 by a freeway segment north of the Fremont end, but is not directly connected to U.S. Highway 101 at its southern end in Menlo Park. Rather, motorists must traverse one of three at-grade routes to connect from the Bayshore Freeway to the bridge.

Although this has led to severe traffic problems on the bridge itself and in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, Caltrans has been unable to upgrade the relevant portion of Highway 84 to freeway status due to opposition from the cities of Menlo Park, Atherton and Palo Alto. The freeway opponents fear that upgrading Highway 84 will encourage more people to live in Alameda County (where housing is more affordable) and commute to jobs in the mid-Peninsula area, thus increasing traffic in their neighborhoods to the south of the bridge.

An extended sequence in the movie Harold and Maude takes place on the 1927 span and its eastern approach.

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