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DUMBARTON BRIDGE

ALTERCATION WITH MOTORCYCLE COP

Fremont, CA 94555, USA

Original Dumbarton Bridge

Eastern end of the old Dumbarton Bridge (toll booth is since torn down). The Dumbarton Bridge connects East Palo Alto to Union City. The bridge seen in the film was entirely replaced with a new bridge in 1983.

Maude has acquired a pickup truck to take the wilting tree to a new home.  In a sequence of sketch-like scenes she encounters a motorcycle cop, confounding, bamboozling and just plain embarrassing him as he tries his inadequate best to uphold the law.  If it weren't so hilarious we'd feel sorry for the poor guy.

As they approach the vertical-lift span Maude has already forgotten about the cop... "Is the little tree all right?", She asks.



Then ... The fun begins when she zooms through a toll plaza without stopping, triggering an alarm.  This was filmed on Highway 84, on the east side of San Francisco Bay, leading to the Dumbarton Bridge.  The barren hill beyond the plaza is the Dumbarton Gravel Quarry.


... and Now, Highway 84 was rerouted in 1982; there's now a new toll plaza located several hundred yards away. This section of the original highway is Marshlands Road. Its old toll plaza gone,  it's now part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont. The quarry, hidden from here by trees, is now a huge, yawning gravel pit, its site slated soon to become a new 100 acre hiking and camping regional park.



Then ... A motorcycle cop (Tom Skerritt, in a great cameo) chases after her from the toll plaza, eventually pulling her over.  Maude cheerfully admits to not having a license... "I don't believe in them", nor owning the truck.  As for the tree... "It's not mine really, but we would like to get it into soil as soon as possible".  With that she roars off, leaving him agape.





... and Now, this spot alongside Highway 84 is about a third of the way across the bay.




Then ... As she drives away the gob smacked cop is frantically mounting his bike to give chase. The brief glimpse of the structure at far left was all that was needed to pinpoint this exact spot.





... and Now, it's the KGO transmitter facility, serving both sides of the bay from this location since 1947.




Then ... When Maude is pulled over a second time she decides to have some fun...





... and Now, this section of the old road is alongside an elevated section of the new.


Then ... For good measure she circles him one more time before continuing westwards, leaving him stranded there, fuming.  Ahead of them at far right is the vertical-lift span of the Dumbarton Bridge that enabled water-borne traffic to get by.


... and Now, the old and new causeways are side-by-side in this recent image taken from the bike lane of the elevated highway.  Left of center to the south is the Dumbarton rail bridge, not quite visible in the movie view above, unused since 1982.




Then ... As they approach the vertical-lift span Maude has already forgotten about the cop... "Is the little tree all right?", she asks.



... and 1984, The lift span was built in 1927.  Here it was, alongside the new road that obsolesced it, in this north-facing photo in 1984 shortly before it was demolished by controlled explosion.  At the moment of the above capture they were just to the right of the span, traveling from right to left, westwards.

Maude finally finds the right spot to replant  the little tree, giving it a new lease on life.  But where was it filmed?




Then ... After planting the tree Maude drives Harold back over the Dumbarton Bridge along Highway 84. When she passes the same cop who she humiliated earlier he can't believe his luck and immediately gives chase.




... and Now, the same spot alongside a pylon on this now unused stretch of the highway is seen here from the elevated causeway that replaced it.




Then ... he catches up and has to pound on the car to catch her attention.  At the top of the hill is the toll plaza seen in their first encounter, viewed from the opposite direction..



... and Now, as explained in the preceding post the toll plaza has been moved to a rerouted section of Highway 84.  Today this part of the original highway, Marshlands Road, is the access road to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.





Then ... Eventually Maude decides to pull over, not far from the toll booth.





... and Now, that same roadside location.




Then ... The cop orders them out of the car but when the unsuspecting clod gets in to check it out, Maude beckons Harold to his motorbike, he hops on behind her and with a roar they zoom off past the toll booths.





... and Now, the same view today.

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