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History Center Photos - Bridges
This page is devoted to historical photographs of Bridges in Oregon. This is just a sampling of the many photos housed in the History Center.
Historical records, correspondence and photographs dating back to the late 1800's are stored at the ODOT History Center in Room 5 of the Transportation Building in Salem, Oregon.

The documents in the History Center are public records and open to inspection, as well as being available to copy.  The History Center has space available for old records, including photographs, which are not being used in daily work.  If you have any questions about the center, contact Pat Solomon, Archivist at (503) 986-3284 or FAX (503) 986-4025.
To get back to the main History Center page, click here.

Alsea Bay

 Alsea Bay Bridge, 1984

Astoria Bridge

 Astoria Bridge
Megler Bridge, built in 1966, MP 4.1.  The longest continuous three-span through-truss bridge in the world.  It crosses the Columbia River linking Oregon to Washington.  It completed US 101 as an unbroken link between the Canadian and the Mexican borders.  Designed by Washington State bridge engineer William A.Bugee.

Bridge of the Gods

Bridge of the Gods
 Columbia River (Bridge of the Gods), 1926

This bridge takes its name from an Indian myth describing a large natural rock bridge over the Columbia River along the Oregon-Washington border.  Built by the Wauna Toll Bridge Company of Walla Walla, Washington, the original bridge was 1,127 feet long.  When the Bonneville Dam was constructed the structure was raised and lengthened to accommodate the rising water level.  The bridge is significant not only as a fine example of cantilever technology and as a major crossing of the Columbia River, but also because of its location in the Columbia River Gorge.

Coos Bay Bridge

Coos Bay
 Coos Bay Bridge
Built in 1936, MP 234.03.  Dedicated posthumously in 1947 to its designer, Conde B. McCullough, this 5,305-foot steel cantilever truss bridge was the longest structure on Oregon's highway system when constructed.  To ease design conflict between the steel truss and the arch spans, the cantilever was constructed with curved upper and lower chords.

Coos Bay
 Under construction

Coquille River Bridge

Coos Bay 
 Coquille River Bridge, 1922
Designed under the auspices of Conde B. McCullough and constructed by local contractor A.B. Gidley, the Coquille River Bridge is a 255-foot steel through truss swing span.  This structure is one of only six remaining swing spans on Oregon's highway system and is representative of this virtually obsolete moveable bridge type.  The quicker and more efficient lifts and bascules have displaced the swing span system as the preferred moveable bridge types.  The Coquille River Bridge is unique in its asymmetrical characteristics.  Commonly referred to as a "bobtail" design, the swing span pivots on an off-center axis to obtain the maximum lateral waterway clearance.  Once a busy commercial river site, the bridge is now rarely opened.  A small riverside county park is near the structure.

Crooked River Bridge

Crooked River 
Crooked River Bridge, U.S. Highway 97 
Designed by Conde B. McCullough, 1926

Depoe Bay Bridge

Depoe Bay
 Depoe Bay Bridge, 1927
The Kuckenberg-Wittman Company of Portland built this single span reinforced concrete deck arch at the mouth of Depoe Bay in 1927.  Designed by Conde B. McCullough, the structure maintains the beauty of the coastline and conforms with its environment.  The Depoe Bay Bridge is an important example of McCullough's engineering and artistic treatment and a familiar Oregon Coast landmark.  A stairwell on the bay side and a walkway at the north end of the bridge provide access to Depoe Bay State Park.  The bridge is 312 feet in length, and the main span is a 150-foot rib deck arch with an open spandrel.  The capacity of the bridge was increased in 1940, when an addition was made on the seaward side of the bridge.
 Depoe Bay Bridge under Construction
 Depoe Bay Bridge under construction

Marquam Bridge

 Marquam Bridge
The Marquam Bridge, with its complex of approaches on the east and west sides of the Willamette River, is a major structure in the Portland system of freeways, affording connections to the East Bank, and Banfield. Freeways on the East side of the Willamette River to the Baldock and Stadium Freeways on the West side of the river.  The complex of approaches completed to date, aggregating several miles in total length with varying length spans, roadway widths and levels and costing over $8,000,000, are essentially of welded steel deck girder construction.

Designed by the Oregon State Highway Department Bridge Section, the Marquam Bridge was completed in 1966.  The streamlined, functional appearance of the double-deck, through-truss, fixed bridge, with its suspended cantilever center span evolved as the Interstate transportation system developed in Portland.

Named for prominent 19th century transportation advocate Philip A. Marquam, the structure's design and visibility in the city landscape led to public participation in the bridge building process.

The Marquam is the city's first double-deck highway bridge built exclusively for vehicular traffic, and also the first of the ten Portland-area Willamette River Bridges to receive extensive seismic retrofitting.

Oregon City (Willamette River)

 Willamette R (OregonCity)
The Willamette River Bridge at Oregon City is a 745-foot structure consisting of a 360-foot steel through arch and eleven concrete deck girder approach spans.  The steel arch span is protected from corrosion by encasement in sprayed-on concrete (Gunite), which gives it the appearance of a concrete structure.  The detailing--obelisk-shaped pylons, ornate bridge railing, arched fascia curtain walls, fluted Art-Deco main piers, cantilevered sidewalks, ornate balustrade railings and the use of bush-hammered inset panels--identify this structure as a Conde B. McCullough and contributes to the significance of the structure. 

Steel Bridge

 Steel Bridge
Steel Bridge over Willamette River prior to Front Street project, from PacificHwy. W. and Harbor Drive, Multnomah County
With two independent, moveable desks, the Steel Bridge, completed in 1912, is a unique and elegant culmination of the design innovations of John Alexander Low Waddell and John Lyle Harrington, of Kansas City, Missouri.  These engineers also created the Hawthorne and Interstate bridges.  They designed the Steel's lower deck to carry passenger and freight trains and the upper deck for autos and the city's first electric trolley cars.  The trolley rails were later removed, and today the bridge has come full circle, with vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic, and MAX Light Rail sharing the upper deck.

The lower deck retracts (telescopes) neatly into the upper deck girders so vehicles can cross the upper deck when the lower railroad deck is open for river traffic.  The lower deck of the bridge can be raised 45 feet in 10 seconds, while the upper deck can be raised at a rate of one foot per second.

The Steel Bridge is the second oldest vertical-lift bridge in North America, and is thought to be the only telescoping vertical lift bridge in the world.

The current bridge takes its name from its double-deck "steel" predecessor, built in 1888.

St. Johns

 St. Johns
Portland's northernmost Willamette River Bridge, the St. Johns, was finished in 1931.  The structure replaced the city's last ferry, which linked the communities of Linnton and St. Johns.  The bridge commemorates the community of St. Johns, which was named in honor of settler and ferryboat owner James Johns.

Designed by internationally renowned engineer David B. Steinman (1886-1960) and Holton D. Robinson, of New York City, the St. Johns was the longest suspension-type bridge west of Detroit at the time of construction.  After seven decades, it remains the largest, most substantial suspension bridge in Oregon. 

The four-lane St. Johns features lofty Gothic arch towers of steel, Gothic-inspired steel frame piers of reinforced concrete, and the longest "pre-stressed" steel cable rope stands designed up to that time.  Steinman also selected the color of the bridge, Verde green, which he chose to harmonize with the forest at the west end of the construction.  Of the 400 structures he was to design, Steinman said, "If you asked me which of the bridges I love best, I believe I would say the St. Johns Bridge.  I put more of myself into that bridge than any other bridge."

Willamette River

Willamette River
The Oregon State Highway Division won wide acclaim for this structure.  This three-span welded steel box girder structure carries the I-205 Freeway across the Willamette River between West Linn and Oregon City.  The two 50-foot wide concrete deck sections are carried on a stringer floor beam system supported by two welded steel box girders on each side.  These girders are 4' 6" wide and vary in depth from 13' 0" at mid-span to 21' 4" at the center of piers.  The boxes have internal stiffeners to give smooth outer lines.  All steel in box girders is A36.

The approach spans are of welded plate girder construction of A26 and A441 steel.  There are no external stiffeners on the outer girders to continue the smooth lines of the main span box girders.

Yaquina Bay Bridge

Yaquina Bay Bridge
Built in 1936 at MP 141.68,  just south of Newport is one of several toll-free bridges forming a part of the Oregon coast highway, US 101.  This bridge, located in Newport, has a combination of both steel and concrete arches.  The main span of the 3,223-foot structure is a 600-foot steel through arch flanked by two 350-foot steel deck arches.  There are five reinforced concrete deck arch secondary spans on the south end.  Each end has a pedestrian plaza with elaborate stairways leading to observation areas.

Young's Bay Bridge

 Young's Bay Bridge
Warrenton Highway, Astoria, MP 6.89.  Youngs Bay Bridge spans the bay West of Astoria to carry Oregon Coast Highway (US 101) traffic over the 4,200 foot, two-lane bridge with its 30-foot roadway.  The bridge's lift span, shown in the foreground and partially open, consists of a steel lift span which has an 80-foot vertical clearance when lifted at mean low water, and a 45-foot clearance when in a closed position.  It needs to be lifted only for larger ships.  Width between channel piers is 130 feet.  The S.P.&S. railroad bridge, almost hidden behind the highway bridge, has a steel swing span, which is shown in an open position in this photo.