Antioch Bridge

Isleton, CA 95641



The Antioch Bridge (officially the Senator John A. Nejedly Bridge) is an vehicle, motorcycle and pedestrian bridge that spans the San Joaquin River-Stockton Deepwater Shipping Channel that connects Antioch, California with Sherman Island in southern Sacramento County , California, near the city of Rio Vista, California , United States. The bridge is signed as part of State Route 160, named after California State Senator John A. Nejedly. Unlike other California toll bridges, the Antioch bridge has only one single lane of traffic for each direction.


The new bridge was completed in December 1978 and opened to traffic. It is 2.9 km (1.8 miles ) long. The first construction was completed in 1926 by American Toll Bridge Corporation (Aven Hanford and Oscar Klatt), which went on to construct the Carquinez Bridge 's main span. On 1 January 1926 the bridge was opened as a linking connection on Victory Highway from coast to coast. The American Toll Bridge Company was founded in 1923 by Hanford and Klatt, officials of the Rodeo-Vallejo Ferry Company, who constructed the bridge at a cost greater than US$ 2,000,000 (equivalent to $30,010,000 in 2019).


The company Delta Bridge had established in December 1922, but had not constructed a bridge at Antioch. In June 1923 Delta Bridge had been granted a license to build.


The 1926 bridge featured two spans each 270 feet (82 m) long which, when raised, offered a clearance of 70 feet (21 m) underneath. During its lifespan the original lift span bridge was riddled with problems. Heavy traffic could cross it at no more than 15 miles an hour (24 km / h), and its narrow shipping channel caused freighter accidents in 1958, 1963 and 1970.


Assemblyman Earl D. Desmond, in 1937, persuaded the California Toll Bridge Authority to buy the Antioch Bridge. Desmond argued that tolls could be removed by buying the bridge, and this would stimulate economic development. On 16 September 1940, Director Frank W. Clark negotiated with the American Toll Bridge Corporation, and the State of California gained ownership of the Antioch and Carquinez Bridges at a cost of US$5,943,000 (equivalent to US$108,460,000 in 2019). Tolls were quickly reduced and then further reduced in 1942.


The narrow ship channel provided by the raised span led to a 1958 (rammed by Kaimana), 1963 (rammed by Pasadena) and 1970 (rammed by Washington Bear) marine traffic colliding with the bridge.


The 1970 accident prompted attempts to construct a bridge to replace it. The lift span had stayed in the elevated position in that accident. The bridge tender was unable to leave the bridge, and remained for 20 hours in the control room. Eventually local firemen made their way to him and helped him out. The bridge had been closed for 5 months for repairs.

Sen. Nejedly introduced Senate Bill 25, which later became Chapter 765 of the 1972 California Statutes, authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds to fund the construction of an existing bridge replacement. The bill cited recent significant delays in the bridge operation resulting from damage to marine traffic as well as approach flooding.


In December 1978, the High Level Bridge opened. The new bridge was called to honor Sen. Nejedly, shortly before completion.


This amazing attraction is located near the following parks in Oakley, California:


  • Big Break Regional Shoreline

  • Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge

  • Nunn-Wilson Family Park

  • Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline 

  • Contra Costa Canal

  • Sherman Island

  • Pistachio Park

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