Historic Recordation of Sonoma’s Watmaugh Road Bridge

3D model of Sonoma Watmaugh bridge for historic recordation and preservation

The Watmaugh Road Bridge, designated a Sonoma County Landmark No. 103 in 1981, dates back to the early 20th century when it was first envisioned as a vital link to facilitate transportation and commerce in the area. Completed in 1926, the bridge was designed by renowned engineer Joseph B. Strauss, who later gained acclaim as the chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Over the years, the Watmaugh Road Bridge has become more than just a transportation route — it has evolved into a cherished landmark deeply embedded in Sonoma’s culture. Unfortunately, over the years the bridge has deteriorated to the point where the County has determined it is too costly to address the structural issues. Planning is in process to replace the bridge while honoring its historical significance and preservation principles.

To address the impacts to the historic existing Watmaugh Road Bridge, Caltrans agreed to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with California State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) to include recordation prior to the start of work that could adversely affect any characteristics that qualifies the Watmaugh Road Bridge as a historic property.

3DVDT’s was hired to complete this recordation. The scope of work included a 3D scan of the bridge, collected with a high-definition Terrestrial Laser Scanner to produce a 3D point cloud model and video of the bridge, to be readily inserted into industry standard 3D modeling software. These models are made available to Preservation Organizations, Historical Societies, the Landmarks Commission and Library throughout Sonoma County, as well as the California Historic Bridge Foundation, CA Preservation Foundation and CA Historical Society, forever preserving this historic landmark.

Video recordation can be viewed below or on the 3DVDT YouTube channel.