NEWS.BYTES EXTRA - ISSUE 164

BLM participates as trails partner in Sundial Bridge dedication

Teams of flag bearers line the Sundial Bridge during "First Crossing" ceremonies held on July Fourth.
Above: Teams of flag bearers line the Sundial Bridge during "First Crossing" ceremonies held on July Fourth.

Residents of Redding celebrated the Fourth of July by reveling in the opening of the Sundial Bridge, a dramatic Sacramento River crossing that civic leaders hope will become an icon for Northern California. Staff from the BLM Redding Field Office were part of the "First Crossing" festivities, which were a blend of music, artistic performances and comments from civic leaders.

Field Office recreation planners Bill Kuntz and Anastasia Lytle led the BLM contingent in the ceremony involving agencies, groups and organizations who partner with the City of Redding in development and expansion of a trail system in the city and its surroundings. Carrying the flags of their organizations and the Turtle Bay Museum's signature-color pennants, the groups marched onto the bridge from four directions to symbolize the linkages the Sundial Bridge will provide. They remained in place during the dedication ceremony.

Afterword, thousands of residents and visitors crossed the glass and granite-decked bridge for the first time.

The bridge, designed by internationally renowned architect Santiago Calatrava of Zurich, Switzerland, connects the Turtle Bay Museums with the Turtle Bay Arboretum, both part of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. It will also provide an important cross-river connection for the Redding area trail system, which will link to the BLM's Sacramento River Rail Trail, and to other BLM public land trails.

Suspended by steel cables from a graceful single pylon, the footbridge spans 700 feet without touching the river and its sensitive salmon spawning habitat. It's gleaming white suspension pylon soars 217 feet into the air, connecting 4,342 feet of steel cables to the lighted bridge deck. The pylon at the north end of the span works as a sundial, casting an arching shadow onto a grassy plaza. It is accurate on the day of the summer solstice.

The $23 million bridge was funded largely by the McConnell Foundation, a Redding- based philanthropic organization. Funds form the City of Redding were used along with state and federal grants to complete the project.


Redding Outdoor Recreation Planner Anastasia Lytle carries the BLM colors as the "green team" approaches the Sundial bridge from a trail on the south bank of the Sacramento River. Carrying green pennants are trailing members of the BLM contingent , Zach Meston, Laura Kuntz and Carol Fontana.
Above: Redding Outdoor Recreation Planner Anastasia Lytle carries the BLM colors as the "green team" approaches the Sundial bridge from a trail on the south bank of the Sacramento River. Carrying green pennants are trailing members of the BLM contingent , Zach Meston, Laura Kuntz and Carol Fontana.

Below: Anastasia Lytle holds the BLM colors during the bridge dedication ceremony.
Anastasia Lytle holds the BLM colors during the bridge dedication ceremony.

Below: the "First Crossing"
the "First Crossing"


News.bytes, issue 164