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Red Cliff Bridge

Historical photos provide so much information about where we live and engage the viewer immediately with the topic.  Old photos that are also evocative and beautiful are less frequent but valuable on multiple levels. 

Looking through a rib section of the Red Cliff Bridge

This photo of the Red Cliff Bridge while under construction (1939-1941) looks through a rib section of the arch onto the lower bridge into Red Cliff above the Denver and Rio Grande Western tracks.  The photo was taken by the Beck family in 1940. The snow and the 209 ft. drop down to the railway tracks emphasize the difficulty for Frank M. Kenney, the steel contractor for the arch bridge, in working at this location.  His first problem was hiring workers willing to endure the sub-zero temperatures at the 8,700 ft. elevation. King Burghardt, the Colorado Highway Department engineer, said: "November was cold, but without much snow, so little time was lost, even though the men worked at temperatures of 18 deg. below zero.  Every morning, the steel had a coating of frost crystals that made working on the sloping rib sections quite hazardous, but the small crew stayed with the job and the west rib was closed on New Year's Day, 1941." -- Construction History, Historic Bridge Inventory. On U.S. Highway 24, one of the two primary routes through Colorado's central Rocky Mountains, the Red Cliff Bridge eliminated miles of switchbacks and steep grades contributing to ease of travel in Colorado.  Its scale and span over the Eagle River Valley are breathtaking.  Our photo helps us appreciate the efforts needed in the construction of the bridge. For more Red Cliff Bridge photos, go to Historical Photos at .


Beautiful selection of pictures and informative, relaxing text. I'm glad that someone is taking care of Colorado history this way. Thank you!

My many thanks to Angela, Barb, Bob and other's I am sure, for all of their hard work and time. You all are doing great work to save the history of Redcliff. Or is it now Red Cliff? I not sure which is right? Len

Thank you! And, for the moment, it's Red Cliff...! Jaci Spuhler, Local History/Archives Eagle Public Library, EVLD PO Box 240, 600 Broadway Eagle, CO 81631 970 328-8800

Great job, again, Jaci. Thanks for all your good work to help Red Cliff preserve some of its history.

Are you the Monnie Jean Elliott with a big brother, Jack Pat Elliott That Me and my brothers ,Lennie and Eddie went to school with. Ernie Dump

Yes. Same one.

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