My March 2015 Photo of the Month is Forgotten Bridge, an image made in Central Arizona along the original route of US Route 80 from Gila Bend to Phoenix.
Forgotten Bridge Background
Continuing my ongoing Old Highway 80 photography project, I travelled to Central Arizona. While I have primarily focused on the route from San Diego to Yuma, this was close enough for me to want to visit.
This is one of several US Route 80 alignments North of Gila Bend. This was a full bridge across a creek that drained into the Gila River to the West. At some point, a major flash flood destroyed the bridge. There wasn’t a replacement bridge as far as I can tell. The current road simply dips into the wash and back up. I am standing on the bluff above the wash. A similar flash flood would probably wash away all of the low-lying asphalt. Because the construction of State Highway 85 to the East eliminated a lot of travel on this route, I suspect long-term maintenance of the old road was deemed unimportant.
I love these old bridges. Unfortunately, others do for the wrong reasons. I was actually surprised that the little graffiti on one side was all that could be found. I image some of the broken pillars were done by people goofing off. Unfortunately, these old roads and bridges aren’t given their proper peace to become a part of history.
This was yet another clear day in Arizona. While good for most people, if left a bit more negative space than I desired. I chose to change the image from it’s native 2×3 format to my favorite panoramic 6×17 format.
I have driven parallel to most of Old Highway 80’s route from San Diego to Texas (the highway officially picks up in Dallas) and there is so much more I want to photograph.
As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.