The Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA

November 10, 2004; by Igor Polk
San Francisco Click

Here is the Virtual Tour of the Sundial Bridge. Here you can walk across Sacramento river as if you are actually there! The bridge is a sculpture. And more. It is designed by Santiago Calatrava (new window) from Spain. Start from any of the locations below.

Sundial Bridge across Sacramento river in Redding, California
On the high left bank of the river overlooking Redding city downtown and surrounded by small buildings there is Sacramento River Trail, a part of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park;
The tower of the bridge casts a shadow - a sundial
The bridge is a sundial. Start the tour from the north end and walk south;
Inside Turtle Bay Museum in Redding
There is the Turtle Bay Museum at another end;
The cable holding the bridge
Walk north;
See-through pavement of the bridge made of glass blocks
What is under the bridge? The pavement is made of glass and you can see shadows of walking people.

A bridge.. Stretched precisely from south to north. Here is the requirement - the bridge must not cast too much shadow over the river. This place, the Turtle Bay happens to be one of the best salmon spawning places in California. It is surrounded by a park. Calatrava's favorite cable stayed design should work fine. The bridge is light - a pedestrian one. One tower is enough. One leaning over to one side, so that tower's weight compensates the girders weight. Let us make it out of glass so that sun penetrates through it. A lot of shadows - California sky is blue and sun is shiny. We can play more with shadows. Make curves, reflecting surfaces. Contrast of blue and white. Fishermen like this place. They are around. One can sit at the bridge and watch how shadows move slowly with sun. Let us make a special space for it. Shadows with time.. Time.. Time passes by.. When you are retired, only so much is left. Fishing, thinking about life, what good was done, watching how time passes by..
A sundial!

Driving across the dry California plain from San Francisco it is a relief to see cool waters of Sacramento river in Redding surrounded by the green hills and mountains. From the hills the bridge looks to me like a giant fish displaying its beautiful white fin out of blue water. You know why it is called Redding? Why Red Bluff? The underlying bed rocks are of intense orange color. It is a colorful coutry. You will see it yourself in the Click's next tour - Shasta Dam. Come back soon!

Real life stories behind the bridge are dramatic: RoguePandit article or (new windows)

CD is available, 86 pictures. E-mail

More tours:
San Francisco Virtual Tours

Golden Gate Bridge

Shasta Dam

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