Lefty O'Doul, Bridge

View Overall From The East
(1 of 11) (5375 views)

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Here is an overall view of the bridge looking west at it from the east along the Giants Promenade behind the ballpark. Notice the gigantic pivot high up on the right end of the bridge. This single pivot design was called a heel trunnion (a pivot mounted on bearings) and the overall bridge type was called a bascule bridge (one end is weighted to counter balance the structure on the other end when the bridge is open).

The two small beige buildings, one at each end, were the original Operator (the one on the left) and Watchman (the one on the right) houses (currently only used for storage).


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:12:34 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7884
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The Part That Raises
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The part of the bridge that raises to let water traffic pass underneath. The sign on the bridge read:

60 Minutes Advance
Notice Required
For Bridge Openings
Call 695-2134
When ready to open, a signal horn sounds, barriers lower over the roadway and sidewalks at each end, and the bridge is allowed to clear. Then the horn sounds again and the bridge raises.


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:29:16 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7898
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The Part That Pivots
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This is the part of the bridge that pivots. When the bridge is raised, the concrete counterweights on the right will be lowered to rest just above the roadway.


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:29:57 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7899
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The New Control Building
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The two original small beige buildings have been retired and replaced by a single, larger red building. The one building combines the operator and watch functions of the original smaller two.


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:30:53 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7901
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The Pivot
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The pivot around which the bride rotates. Notice the small platform for inspecting and lubricating the pivot.


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:31:05 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7902
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The Bridge Seen Looking South
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The bridge seen looking south along Third Street with Mission Bay beyond. Traffic passing over the bridge can be completely unaware of the huge structure overhead.


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:31:54 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7903
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The Concrete Counterweights
(7 of 11) (3450 views)

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A close up look at the two huge concrete counterweights that precisely counter the weight of the roadway being lifted.


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:34:09 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7909
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Weathered Sign On West Side
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There were two signs on the bridge that gave instructions for opening. The one on the east side was clearly legible. The one on the west side was weathered and the phone number was almost illegible.


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:34:50 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7911
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View From South Looking North
(9 of 11) (3373 views)

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The view from the south side of the bridge looking north. Note that there are five traffic lanes crossing the bridge. Those lanes can be closed individually and opened for reverse traffic flow following games endings, and to dedicate traffic lanes to pedestrians.


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:36:30 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7914
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Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge (patented)
(10 of 11) (3408 views)

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The original plaque that shows the bridge design was patented external link by Joseph B. Strauss. This particular type of bridge (only one of which remains in San Francisco) was designed and construction was supervised by Joseph B. Strauss who also designed the Golden Gate Bridge. This bridge opened in 1933. It was officially renamed Lefty O'Doul Bridge in 1969.


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:37:33 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7919
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The Original Operator Building
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When originally built, the bridge was operated from inside a building attached to the pivot. Here the bridge would pivot independently of the operator house which would remain upright as the bridge rotated around it.


Lefty O'Doul external link Bridge external link   •  Designed and Built by Joseph Baermann Strauss external link   •  Formerly the Third Street Bridge (or China Basin Bridge)   •  A draw bridge carries 3rd Street over China Basin   •  (Photo posted Sunday 7 October 2012)   •  (Photo taken 11:38:16 Saturday 6 October 2012)   •  © 2012 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #B12_7924
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