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Crockett in Contra Costa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Al Zampa Memorial Bridge

Crockett, California 2003

 
 
Al Zampa Memorial Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 16, 2015
1. Al Zampa Memorial Bridge Marker
Inscription. Alfred 'Al' Zampa was the first born son of Emilio and Maria Zampa, Italian immigrants who migrated to the USA from Abruzzi, Italy. Al was born on March 12, 1905 in Selby, California down river from where this plaque sits. He was the eldest of three brothers and two sisters.

Al started his career in ironworks when he was 20 years old on the first Carquinez Bridge opening in 1927. He worked on all of the highway and railroad bridges in the area, including the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. In 1936 Al fell from the Golden Gate into the safety net designed by famous bridge engineer Joseph Strauss. He survived the fall, but it severely injured him. After recovering, Al immediately returned to his job on the bridge and along with other fall survivors, he helped form the Halfway to Hell Club. The highlight of Al's career came when his two sons joined him as ironworkers to help build the second Carquinez Bridge that would open in 1958 to carry traffic eastbound on the new Interstate 80 Highway.

In 1987, some years after his retirement, on the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge a play called The Ace was produced based on Al's life story. The play ran at Ft. Point in San Francisco for several weeks. Al began to share his story with the media and was interviewed
Al Zampa Memorial Bridge Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 16, 2015
2. Al Zampa Memorial Bridge Marker - Wide View
by magazines, radio shows, and TV programs such as 'On the Road with Charles Kuralt'. Later Al contributed to the documentary 'Skywalkers', a story of ironworkers.

Al always spoke highly of being a union ironworker and the benefits he received as a union member. He was very competitive and did not like to fail. He enjoyed playing pool and coaching little league baseball. He started the first Tri-City Little League with friends in 1947. He coached his Crockett team to victory, winning the league 6 consecutive years. While working, coaching little league baseball, playing pool or any of his pastimes, Al Zampa was dedicated to achievement.

In March of 2000 ground was broken on a new suspension bridge to replace the original Carquinez Bridge. Al was there to see history repeat itself. The new bridge is named in memory of Crockett's own Alfred Zampa and in recognition of the men and women of the building and construction trades who build these great monuments.
 
Erected 2003.
 
Location. 38° 3.351′ N, 122° 14.26′ W. Marker is in Crockett, California, in Contra Costa County. Marker can be reached from San Pablo Avenue 0.1 miles west of Merchant Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 20050 San Pablo Avenue, Crockett CA 94525, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
<i>Completing Span - Quarter Way Up - Carquinez Bridge, Crockett, California.</i> image. Click for full size.
1927
3. Completing Span - Quarter Way Up - Carquinez Bridge, Crockett, California.
Completed in 1927 and costing $8 million, this was the the first bridge to span the San Francisco Bay. Al Zampa worked on this one.
At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Old Homestead (approx. 0.9 miles away); Crockett World War I Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.5 miles away); Anza Expedition of 1776 (approx. 2.3 miles away); Lefty Gomez Field (approx. 2.3 miles away); The De Anza Expedition in Rodeo (approx. 2.3 miles away); First Wireless Station (approx. 2.5 miles away); The Burlington Hotel (approx. 3 miles away); McNear Warehouse (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Crockett.
 
More about this marker. The marker is at a signed vista point, about 400 feet uphill from The Dead Fish. (That's the name of the restaurant.)
 
Also see . . .  The Al Zampa Memorial Bridge Foundation. The foundation presents more information on its namesake. (Submitted on December 17, 2015, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & Viaducts
 
The Carquinez Bridges image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 16, 2015
4. The Carquinez Bridges
The second Carquinez Bridge is visible here, completed in 1958 at a cost of $38 million. Al Zampa worked on this one, too. Along with his sons. And the suspension bridge in front of it? That one is named after him.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 17, 2015, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 168 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 17, 2015, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
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