This graffiti-covered bridge is the quintessential vision of a place for disillusioned youth to escape the complexities of burgeoning adulthood.
The Stevenson Bridge, known colloquially as the Graffiti Bridge, is one of only three bridges in California built in the overhead tie arch style, and it is completely covered in brightly-colored graffiti.
Promises of undying love and devotion are scrawled next to epitaphs for the dead, abstract art overlays gang tags and crude phrases are scrawled on the roadway. Locals fish from it, and college students from nearby UC Davis come here to escape the establishment.
Everyone knows this bridge.
Built in 1923, the bridge used to simply be a way to get across Putah Creek and its steep banks, but at some point it became something more. Once the urban art began to cover its surface, it quickly achieved legend status and most people in the area have heard of it, even if they haven’t seen it. Highschool and college students make the trek out from the surrounding towns of Dixon, Winters, Woodland, Davis and even Sacramento to leave their mark, their trash, and their empty 40-ouncers.
The bridge was slated for closure and possible destruction in 2010, but as of early 2013 it remains open and passable. It’s unclear whether it has been retrofitted or the work was simply never carried out.
Surrounding the bridge is farmland, and more immediately the Putah Creek corridor, a riparian nature area extending 30 miles from Monticello Dam in the west to the Sacramento River Delta in the east.
Know Before You Go
From Davis, take the Lincoln Highway/Russel Blvd east for 6 miles. Russel swerves to the right and becomes Arlington Blvd- take a left to stay on Russel. Eventually, Russel becomes County Road 32. Keep going. When it sweeps right again, take a hard left onto Co. Road 95A. You'll hit the bridge after 200 feet.
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