Archie Stevenot Bridge

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Archie Stevenot Bridge
Route 49 Stanislaus River Bridge
Melones, California, United States
450 feet high / 137 meters high
550 foot span / 168 meter span


One of the highest reservoir bridges in the United States, Archie Stevenot bridge carries route 49 across the Stanislaus River and the New Melones reservoir in the Gold Country area of Northern California. Rising approximately 400 feet (122 mtrs) from foundation to cap, the central pier is tied with California’s Auburn-Foresthill as the tallest ever built in the United States. Located several miles upstream is the 355 foot (108 mtr) high Parrotts Ferry bridge. Like Archie Stevenot, the Parrotts Ferry bridge is underwater most of the time. Both bridges were completely out of the water in 1992 from a severe drought. I know of no reservoir in North American history that ever dropped more than 367 feet (112 mtrs) as the New Melones Lake did during October of that year. You can check on current levels at


Archie Stevenot Bridge Elevation


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


The Archie Stevenot Bridge was completed before the New Melones Dam and reservoir. Anyone out there have color photos from the 1992 drought?


Image by Eric Sakowski /


The spans were all designed so that the deck could be widened to 4 lanes due to an increase in traffic.


Image by Eric Sakowski /



Memorial plaque to Archie D. Stevenot "Mr. Mother Lode" on the north side of the bridge. There is also a 100 year capsule that will be opened in 2076. Image by Eric Sakowski /


Archie Stevenot Bridge satellite image.