Post and Cable era.
In September of 1948, the County deeded the Bidwell Suspension Bridge to the State of California.
It is believed by this resercher that the third and final form of access control was implemented after 1948, when the State Parks Department started managing the Bidwell Bar Bridge, Tollhouse and the associated swiming area at the historic Bidwell's Bar site. In that year, the County of Butte opened a cement bridge about one-half mile below the historic bidwell suspension bridge. This new bridge was necessary to handle the increased traffic and heavy loads generated by logging and mining activities in the areas above the bidwell suspension bridge.
In the photo above note that the single horizontal rail has been removed from some of the posts between the end of the bridge and the monument in front of the orange tree. The rock wall that defined the boundary between the Feather River and the area created on the edge of the original Frenchman's garden is visible behind the base of the ladder that is leaning into the orange tree. This planting area was created after the flood of 1862, as the new site for the orange tree.
The bridge remined open to vehicles from 1948 to October of 1954, when it was closed to all vehicle traffic.
Once the bridge was closed to vehicle traffic, the less intrusive Post and Cable control system could provide adequate protection, yet provide easy access to the monument and orange tree for the users of the recreation area
One of the pieces of evidence indicating these chages were made when the new cement bridge was opened and the state started managing the site; are the bridge safety warning signs that were placed between the support towers at each end of the suspension bridge. Also, prior to the closure of the bridge to vehicle traffic, special warning signs advising: Use at your own risk, were added on the right hand corner at each end of the bridge. In photo below, these warning signs are in place.
In the photo below, the single horizontal rail has been replaced with the Post and Cable system of access control. This would seem to indicate a transition in the control system is ocuring prior to the final closure of the bridge to vehicle traffic.
Note the size of the orange tree is smaller in both photo on this page than in many other pictures. It appears the tree is healthy but has been pruned to a smaller size and the area cleared for beter public access.