Lefty O'Doul
Bridge

Opened in 1933 and originally called the Third Street Bridge. A draw bridge that crosses China Basin in San Francisco.
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View Overall From The East
(1 of 11) (2125 views)

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


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).


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The Part That Raises
(2 of 11) (1352 views)

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


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.


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The Part That Pivots
(3 of 11) (1380 views)

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


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.


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The New Control Building
(4 of 11) (1332 views)

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


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.


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The Pivot
(5 of 11) (1365 views)

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


The pivot around which the bride rotates. Notice the small platform for inspecting and lubricating the pivot.


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The Bridge Seen Looking South
(6 of 11) (1389 views)

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


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.


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The Concrete Counterweights
(7 of 11) (1424 views)

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


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


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Weathered Sign On West Side
(8 of 11) (1332 views)

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


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.


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View From South Looking North
(9 of 11) (1353 views)

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


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.


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Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge (patented)
(10 of 11) (1380 views)

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


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.


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The Original Operator Building
(11 of 11) (1354 views)

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


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.


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