The Swinging Bridge in the Village of Arroyo Grande is the only bridge of its kind in the state of California. The Arroyo Grande Swinging Bridge is a popular landmark because during rainy seasons you can walk across and view the trickling Arroyo Grande Creek.
The Swinging Bridge was originally constructed in early 1875 by Newton Short and the Short Family whose land was divided by the Arroyo Grande Creek. This historic landmark was so useful to the town that the city decided to add sides to the bridge in 1911. The Bridge had a great run and lasted for 84 years until a tree fell in early 1995 and destroyed it beyond repair. However, strong community support and fundraising efforts paid for the reconstruction of the Bridge, which was fully restored and operational by May 1995. It spans a total length of 171 feet and is suspended 40 feet above the creek.
One side of the Swinging Bridge sits next to the public Village Green Park, behind Branch Street and City Hall. The other side of the Bridge connects downtown with a residential neighborhood and historic Santa Manuela Schoolhouse. The schoolhouse next to the foot of the bride on Short Street, which is named after Newton Short.
Next time you are cruising through the beautiful California Central Coast remember to give the Swinging Bridge a visit.
Directions: The bridge is located just five minutes off the 101 Freeway Grand Avenue exit in Arroyo Grande. Turn east, where Grand Avenue becomes Branch Street. Drive two blocks into the Village of Arroyo Grande. You will find the Swinging Bridge between Bridge St. and S. Mason St. at Short St.