August 30, 2021

Redding included in Visually Stunning Pedestrian Walkways Across U.S.

sundial bridge in redding

These spectacular structures aren’t just a means to an end—with their breathtaking views and rich histories, they are part of the destination.

These bridges were made for walking

Bridges can be more than a means to get from one side to the other—though, of course, that’s usually their primary function—and they’re not just for cars. While some have pedestrians sharing part of the road with cars or cyclists, others permit only your feet as transportation. And many of these bridges won’t only help you increase your step count; they’ll also transfix you with their interesting architectural features, neat backstories, and eye-catching views. Get started with these stunning pedestrian bridges around the country, whether you’re taking one of these great American road trips or checking out the best-kept secret in your state.

Sundial Bridge, Redding, California

Located in Turtle Bay Exploration Park along the Sacramento River, this bridge delivers on its name. It’s a working sundial whose shadow traces an arc so large that it can record only four hours a day; sadly, during winter, its accuracy diminishes because the shadow is too far into the park’s arboretum to be seen. Nonetheless, the Sundial Bridge—which opened on July 4, 2004—has other noteworthy features. Designed by architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, who also did New York City’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub, this glass-deck suspension bridge serves as the downtown entrance to the Sacramento River Trail system and links to the park’s northern and southern campus entrances. It’s also environmentally friendly; its tall pylon and cable stays prevent the need for water supports, the creation of which would have disrupted a nearby salmon-spawning habitat. In January, runners in the annual Redding Marathon finish by crossing the bridge.

The Sundial Bridge’s designers weren’t the first to use the sun as a major design element. These ancient monuments were built around the summer solstice.

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