Previous statements indicated that the lumber firm of Perry and Woodworth built the structure in 1870, but this article, which goes into some detail, stated matters differently:
It was erected by the Pacific Bridge Company, whose headquarters are in San Francisco and Oakland, and under the immediate supervision of Mr. C. H. Gerrill, the Secretary of the company. It is a very substantial and extensive structure, and will be one of the most useful and sightly public improvements in the county. The bridge proper has two spans of 150 feet each, roofed and inclosed [sic] the entire distance.The Pacific Bridge Company was started in Oakland by William Henry Gorrill, who learned bridge building in his native Ohio and settled in San Francisco in 1869. There was a boom in bridge-building and Gorrill and brothers, including the C.H. "Gerrill" in the above quote formed the firm and used an 1867 patented design by R. W. Smith for their projects. The process involved "bridge kits" with elements built at the company factory and then shipped to the site.
After a description of the structural work, including how its chords and trusses were designed to distribute weight and strengthen the bridge, as well as noting the intricacy of the pine flooring, three piers of iron sunk 13 feet into the river bed, and the use of "the most approved concrete" to anchor the piers and absorb the weight of the structure, the article gave the dimensions as 24 feet wide by 475 feet in length and it was sure to note that there were 200 piles in the trestles.
As to the Old Aliso covered bridge, the article noted that:
The work on the Aliso street bridge will be finished to-day, and it will be ready for use as soon as the city has made the grades required on each side of the river to run the approaches even with the bridge.The Weekly Express opined that "the Council [Los Angeles' Common Council, now the City Council] should pass an ordinance to regulate the uses of this bridge, and provide for lighting, for as it is closely roofed, it will be as dark as a railroad tunnel, at night . . ."
Finally, the article finished by stating that, "the entire cost of three bridges is $59,000, in seven per cent bonds of the county."
So, it appears the bridge was completed close to three years late than elsewhere stated and that Perry and Woodworth did not build the structure.
It does make sense, moreover, that the early 1873 opening would have directly facilitated the development of Los Angeles' first subdivisions east of the river, first being East Los Angeles, now Lincoln Heights, in 1873 and then Boyle Heights two years later.
Contribution by Paul R. Spitzzeri, Assistant Director, Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum, City of Industry, California.