folsom dam bridge
The Folsom Dam Bridge was designed by MacDonald Architects and developed in conjunction with CH2M Hill, URS, and the US Army Corps.
The American River and Lake Natoma bisect the City of Folsom and for more than forty years, access across the river had been via the historic Rainbow Bridge and Folsom Dam Road that runs atop Folsom Dam. In 2000, a new four-lane bridge, the Lake Natoma Crossing, was constructed to span the American River at Folsom’s northwest edge to help reduce traffic on the Rainbow Bridge. The Rainbow Bridge still carries motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to and from Old Town Folsom. The two-lane Folsom Dam Road was closed indefinitely for security reasons on February 28, 2003. At the time of the closure, the road carried approximately 18,000 commuters daily. These commuters were then forced to seek a new route across the American River either across the Rainbow Bridge or across the Lake Natoma Crossing. The new traffic patterns that evolved caused congestion on City streets and severely impacted the City’s Historic District and adjacent neighborhoods.
In 2004, MacDonald Architects and CH2M HILL/URS were contracted by the Army Corps to perform the preliminary alignment studies and to proceed with the final design. Construction of the bridge was heavily influenced by site accessibility constraints, including the rugged topography of the American River canyon directly downstream of the Folsom Dam.
The bridge now connects Folsom-Auburn Road on the west (intersecting several hundred meters south of the current dam road) with East Natoma Street on the east.