The Sundial Bridge

Tuesday, 23rd October 2007 by

Crossing the Sacramento River in Redding, California is the sundial bridge which (as you might have guessed) serves the dual purpose of being both a bridge and a sundial!

I previously tried to use North America's largest sundial to tell the time on Google Earth, which was much more effort than I'd anticipated, and not an exercise I'm keen to repeat.

However, according to "Sundial 101", telling the time on the sundial bridge should be easier, as "the base plate is titled at an angle equal to the latitude, and the style is perpendicular to the base, which will align it with the earth's axis".

Which apparently means that the time can be simply read from the equally spaced markers to the North of the bridge. Each marker represents an hour from 10am until 3pm (I guess that outside these times you'll just have to look at your watch).

Therefore, I'd say that this photograph was taken at approximately 11.30am!

The sundial bridge was designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava whose work always looks great from above. We've previously featured his Saint-Exupéry TGV Terminal and Montjuic Communications Tower. Calatrava's design for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in NYC is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by 2008.

More info on the bridge from Tutle Bay Exploration Park and CNet News and you may also enjoy Felippo's extensive sundial collection.

Thanks to otiica on the Google Earth forum & Anthony Ochoa