Words by Dylan Lanier
While the Peninsula’s Dumbarton Bridge may pale in comparison to the Golden Gate, it’s certainly worth its salt! Replacing the original vehicular bridge built in 1927, the current Dumbarton debuted in the fall of 1982. This impressive feat of construction cost $70 million to build and stretches 1.6 miles in length. Seven years after it opened, the original four-lane bridge was re-striped to accommodate six after the Loma Prieta earthquake temporarily closed the Bay Bridge.
What’s that smell? Anyone crossing from Menlo Park over to Fremont is all too familiar with the sulfurous stink rising from the marshlands below. You can credit that pungent odor to rotting vegetation and organisms from the evaporating salt ponds. Another interesting fact: The first cars to cross the Dumbarton Bridge paid a $0.75 toll. Today, the 70,000 vehicles that drive across each day pay $7, with another boost approved for 2025. But at least one person escaped without payment. In 1971, the classic movie Harold and Maude featured a scene where a clueless Maude drives right through the toll booth on the original bridge and speeds off after a police officer confronts her.