San Diego County Miscellaneous - Kevin Key Photography - San Diego, California
Pine Valley Creek Bridge and the Milky Way arch.

Pine Valley Creek Bridge and the Milky Way arch.

To produce this panoramic image, I combined 15 vertical frames each shot at 25 sec f/2.8 and ISO 3200 using my Canon 6D and Sigma 15mm EX DG. Traffic on the bridge provided the streaks of light. The bridge is, of course, straight and not curved, but I like the artistic effect of both a Milky Way arch and bridge arch here. I very subtly illuminated the foreground by reflecting the light of my LED headlamp off of my hand and in the direction of the brush.

I hiked about five miles round trip to take this shot - hiking back to my truck in the dark (using a headlamp to see).

The Pine Valley Creek Bridge, officially named the Nello Irwin Greer Memorial Bridge, is a reinforced concrete box girder bridge in San Diego County, California near the town of Pine Valley. The bridge was built in 1974 as part of the Interstate 8 (I-8) freeway system. At the time of its construction, it was the first bridge constructed in the United States using the segmental balanced cantilever method. The northern span is 1,691 ft (515.4 m) long while the southern span is 1,741 ft (530.7 m) long.[1] The two spans rise 450 ft (137.2 m) above the valley floor, placing Pine Valley Creek Bridge among the highest bridges in the United States.

Originally known unofficially as the Pine Valley Creek Bridge, a California State Senate concurrent resolution (SCR-33) officially named the bridge in honor of the project engineer, Nello Irwin Greer, responsible for designing the section of I-8 known as the "Pine Valley Project".

In the original design, the freeway's routing followed the old U.S. Route 80 (US 80) path through the center of the town of Pine Valley. This would have destroyed much of the town and many of the native pines found there. Greer's design re-routed the freeway to the south, bypassing and preserving the quaint beauty of this eastern San Diego County mountain community. This new design also saved 2 miles (3.2 km) of freeway construction, saving millions of dollars in costs. However this re-routing of the freeway mandated the crossing of the Pine Valley Creek Canyon. The bridge that now bears Greer's name was the design answer to that engineering hurdle.