|The original bridge, a steel cantilever bridge, was designed by Robinson & Steinman and dedicated on May 21, 1927. It cost $8 million to build and was the first major bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area.|
Upon completion of the 1927 bridge, the Lincoln Highway was rerouted over the span. The Lincoln Highway was the first road across America. Its original alignment from Sacramento to San Francisco avoided the un-bridged waterways of the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento Delta by routing itself through the Altamont Pass and the central valley. With the bridge built, the Sacramento to San Francisco route was realigned in 1928 to pass along the eastern shores of the San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay, then in a northeastern direction.
In 1958, at a cost of $38 million a similar parallel bridge was built alongside the original one to accommodate the ever-increasing traffic. The original 1927 span served westbound traffic while the newer 1958 span served eastbound traffic.
In 2003, as a resolution to seismic problems of the aging 1927 span, a new suspension bridge was opened to replace it, at a cost of $240 million. This new bridge was named the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge, after an ironworker who worked on a number of the San Francisco Bay Area bridges, including the Golden Gate Bridge. This span features a pedestrian and bicycle path, completing a bike trail which circles the entire Bay Area. The span measures 0.66 miles (3465 feet / 1056.1 m / 1.06 km). The bridge was dedicated on November 8, 2003 and opened for traffic on November 11. (Originally, the plan was to dedicate the bridge on November 15, but complications involving when just-recalled Governor Gray Davis would have to transfer power to Arnold Schwarzenegger resulted in the date being moved. The coins minted to commemorate the event have the old date on them.) Upon completion in 2003, it was the newest suspension bridge built in the United States, until completion of the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 2007. The 1927 span was dismantled in 2007, after it was temporarily used to hold eastbound traffic while the eastbound span underwent a seismic retrofit, deck and superstructure rehabilitation, and painting to extend its serviceable life. During demolition, the 3,000-pound bronze bell atop one of the Carquinez Bridge piers was removed and placed into storage. The bell will eventually be displayed in a new museum to be built at the Oakland end of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge.