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Bridges of Town Lake

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Historic Mill Avenue Bridge

Built in 1931, this bridge has withstood flooding and the test of time. Lit with twinkling swags at night, this architecturally-recognized bridge can be seen for miles. It serves as the gateway to the Mill Avenue District.

New Mill Avenue Bridge

Built in 1993 to accommodate a higher traffic flow, the first attempt at constructing this bridge washed away in a flood. The completed bridge has been tested by stormwater and has flourished.

Light Rail Bridge

Only Tempe would combine function with fun. Arizona's only light rail bridge turns into a colorful show of lights whenever a train crosses it. This 1,546 foot-long bridge parallels the Union Pacific Railroad bridge a few yards to the west and Mill Avenue bridges to the east. It was designed by TY Lin International with art by Buster Simpson.  The north bank retaining walls incorporate a pattern created to look like the cracking of mud as it dries while the south bank retaining walls feature a bright and lively pattern with panels displaying artwork that depicts the history of the Salt River. The LED lighting system runs the length of the bridge and is programmed to create a variety of effects ranging from lights “chasing the trains across the bridge” to holiday themes and more complex shows.

Salt River Union Pacific Bridge

Built in 1912, this bridge survived while floods destroyed the previous three truss bridges constructed in the same location. The bridge is still used today by cargo trains. 

Elmore Pedestrian Bridge

This beautiful suspension bridge is lit with vibrant blue hues after dark. It connects the north and south shores of Town Lake for pedestrians and bicyclists at the Tempe Center for the Arts.  

There are four spans to the bridge. Each of those individual spans is 228 feet long and weighs about 165,000 pounds. The bridge is 12 feet wide and 34 feet tall. Its arches are suspended by 32 metal cables. In total, there are 128 steel cables which criss-cross each other and add to the bridge’s distinctive shape.

Watch a video about this new bridge:

Rural Road Bridge

Used as a route for many of Town Lake's runs and triathlons, the Rural Road Bridge serves as a vital link for cars and pedestrians to cross Town Lake.

ped bridge
Elmore Pedestrian Bridge