Sentinel Bridge

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
When you drive from Curry Village to the main village, you pass over Sentinel Bridge. It is famous for giving great views of Half Dome. This is a shot of the current bridge.

It is the 6th one built over the Merced since the first log one in 1859. Most the bridges had a narrow arch over the water which caused the water to accelerate as it crossed the narrow throat (in gases it’s called the Bernoulli effect). Anyway, this wreaked havoc with the flow and stressed the bridge. An iron one was put up in 1878. The one shown here was built in 1919 (same year as the Half Dome cables) and is made of concrete and granite.

The one we ride over today was built in 1993 and has a much wider arch to allow a slower water movement.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Starfleet to scoutship, please give your position, Over. I’m in orbit around the third planet from the star called the sun. Over. You mean it’s the earth? Over. Positive. It is known to have some form of intelligent species. Over. I think we should take a look.” – Third Stone from the Sun, Jimi Hendrix
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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0 Responses to Sentinel Bridge

  1. BellaBike says:

    Um, are you sure you’ve got those dates correct? The old photo shows autos from the early 1950’s, on a bridge that you say was replaced in 1930?

    • mrhalfdome says:

      Good catch to you Ms. BellaBike. RJ caught the typo also…the photo shows the bridge built in 1919 – undated photo. The current bridge replaced it in 1993. So those vintage vehicles were sputtering around probably in the early 1950’s. If you zoom in on the light colored car on the right, it might be a 1950 Mercury. But the others look like pre-war to me.

  2. RJ says:

    The current Sentinel Bridge was built in the early 1990s (1994?) and was the one made wider to restrict river flow less.

    • mrhalfdome says:

      RJ is correct. The current bridge was built in 1993. I was asleeep at the wheel – glad to see folks are actually reading these posts!! I will repost the original and fix it. Interesting that it took 6 bridge projects to get it right. We hope. It survived the 1997 flood.

      Thanks RJ.

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