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Jan 14

Phillips Lane bridge over Southern Pacific tracks bites the dust

How many bridges are there across the Union Pacific tracks in San Luis Obispo today?
One at Mill Street, two if you include the pedestrian Jennifer Street bridge.
The railroad seems to prefer forcing automotive traffic under their right of way as at Highland, Monterey, Johnson and Tank Farm. Only Marsh, Orcutt and Cal Poly have grade level crossings.
Extra Credit, how many road/railroad bridges were there in 1941?
Three, Mill Street, Phillips Lane and Fairview (near the present day Johnson underpass.)
We may have talked about this subject before. A software crash a year ago wiped out a few hundred Photos From the Vault comments and at least one posting but as far as I can tell this photo has never been published.
The onetime Southern Pacific railroad is now Union Pacific.
The photo was made six days after the story was published Dec. 20, 1966 and does not appear to have run in the paper that year.

The Phillips Lane Railroad bridge had come to the end of the road in 1966.
©The Tribune

Too costly to repair
Phillips Lane bridge doomed

The number of bridges over Southern pacific Railroad tracks in San Luis Obispo was reuced to one Monday night when the City Council gave the S-P permission to raze the Phillips Lane span.
Cost of repairing or rebuilding the old wooden bridge was deemed prohibitive by the council, which was told that a rebuilding job would run more than $20,000 and a new structure would cost upwards of $50,000.
The bridge was weakened and finally collapsed on one end during the city’s recent heavy rains. S-P officials, who have been pushing the city to move one way or another. They believe the bridge, as it now stands, constitutes a hazard to its traffic.
The loss of Phillips Lane overpass is of minor significance inasmuch as a completely new bridge was completed this year at Mill Street, only a block away. This was done at railroad expense.
The S-P agreed Monday night to take care of the dcemolition of the Phillips bridge and to notify the Public Utilities Commission of its action.
Origin of the bridge admittedly is clouded, but city officials believe it was constructed by the railroad when the tracks were installed.

Now that those pesky trestles are out of the way there appears to be plenty of room for a bike path.

Related posts:

  1. Pacific Coast Railroad Bridge, Avila Beach 1966
  2. Southern Pacific builds Stenner Creek Bridge, Cuesta Grade construction on the Coast Line
  3. Southern Pacific’s Lark overnight passanger train
  4. Life sized Lionel Train, Southern Pacific engine at Monterey St.
  5. Reflections on Southern Pacific Engine 4449, star of the Pacific Daylight route