The Piru Creek Bridge from “Burlesque”Apr 27th, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Another location that the Grim Cheaper and I visited this past weekend while doing some stalking in the Heritage Valley was the Union Pacific Railroad Piru Creek Bridge which stood in for the supposed Iowa-area bridge that Ali (aka Christina Aguilera) walked across during the opening scene of Burlesque. I once again found this locale thanks to Gary, from the Seeing Stars website, who added the bridge to his Burlesque filming locations page just a couple of weeks ago. In an odd twist, though, when we showed up to stalk the structure we discovered that there were, in fact, two very similar-looking bridges located directly next to each other and I was unsure of which one exactly had appeared in the flick. The GC ended up taking photographs of both of them, though, and I am so incredibly grateful that he did because, as it turns out, they have each appeared on the silver screen in various productions!
The two Piru Creek bridges that we stalked are pictured above via an aerial view. Because I, unfortunately, could not find much information about either of the structures online, for the purposes of clarity I will refer to the bridge denoted with the pink arrow above as the Burlesque Bridge and the bridge denoted with the blue arrow above as the Enough bridge (it had a very brief onscreen appearance in the 2002 flick Enough which starred Jennifer Lopez, but more on that later).
The Burlesque bridge was first built in 1902 and measures 320 feet in length. The steel, through-truss structure is a Ventura County historical landmark and formerly serviced the Union Pacific Railroad.
In the opening scene of Burlesque, Ali is shown very briefly walking across the bridge while on her way to the local bus depot to purchase a train ticket to Los Angeles. You can see some photographs of Christina Aguilera filming the scene on the Zimbio website here.
Sadly, the Burlesque bridge is largely inaccessible to the public, which was highly disappointing as I was hoping to walk across it just like Ali had done in the movie.
And while it has been reported that the Burlesque bridge was the site of the train crash in the 1994 rom-com I Love Trouble, as you can see in the above screen capture, that information is incorrect. The train crash scene was actually filmed on the Sespe Creek Bridge, which you can see a photograph of here, in the neighboring town of Fillmore.
Just south of the Burlesque bridge, on the opposite side of Center Street, is the bridge which appeared in Enough. As you can see in the above photographs, despite a difference in color and despite being wide enough for cars to drive on, it is strikingly similar in appearance to the Burlesque bridge.
And while I could find no historical information whatsoever about the structure online, I am happy to report that it is much more accessible than the Burlesque bridge. While one cannot actually walk across it, it is easily viewable from Center Street.
In the 2002 thriller Enough, the high-speed car chase between Slim Hiller (aka Jennifer Lopez) and Robbie (aka Noah Wylie) ends at the bridge when Robbie crashes his SUV into a steel beam that has fallen across the span.
At the end of the scene, Slim is shown driving off of the bridge and west onto Center Street.
Thanks to fave stalking book Hollywood Escapes: The Moviegoer’s Guide to Exploring Southern California’s Great Outdoors, I learned that the Enough bridge was also featured as the plane crash site in 1992’s Hero. Considering how deathly afraid I am of flying, I CANNOT believe that I actually had to scan through the plane crash scene to make the above screen captures. Shudder!
The Enough bridge was also featured during the opening scene of the 1974 movie The California Kid.
Thanks to the Confederate General Lee Fan Club website, I learned that the Enough bridge was also featured in two episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard. It first appeared in the Season 1 episode of the show titled “Luke’s Love Story” during the Hazzard County Obstacle Derby scene.
It later appeared at the very end of the Season 1 episode titled “Route 7-11” as the spot located just over the Hazzard county line where Luke Duke (aka Tom Wopat) and Cooter (aka Ben Jones) dropped off their friend Dewey Stovall (aka Paul Brinegar).
Big THANK YOU to Gary, from the Seeing Stars website, for finding this location.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Piru Creek Bridges, which are depicted in the above aerial view, are both located on Center Street in Piru, above Piru Creek, about 1,000 feet east of the Downtown area. The Burlesque bridge is located on the northern side of Center Street, while the Enough bridge is located on the southern side. And while the Enough bridge is easily visible from Center Street, you can catch the best glimpses of the Burlesque bridge from Piru Canyon Road about 1000 feet east of Orchard Street.