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St. Johns Bridge Rehabilitation Project - completed November 2005
 
 
 
Project Summary:
This project included replacement of the concrete bridge deck, painting of the bridge’s metal surfaces, upgrades to the drainage and lighting systems, improvements to the Bridge Avenue ramps on the west side of the Willamette River, and sidewalk widening around the bridge towers.
Status and Timeline:Construction began March 2003 and was complete November 2005. 
Recent Developments: (December 2005)Work on this project is substantially complete.

Project Information
The Oregon Department of Transportation awarded Max J. Kuney Co. of Spokane, Washington the contract for this $42 million project to rehabilitate the 72-year-old St. Johns Bridge. This project includes complete removal and replacement of the concrete bridge deck and sidewalks, paint removal and painting of the bridge’s metal surfaces, upgrades to the drainage and lighting systems, and improvements to the Bridge Avenue ramps on the west side of the Willamette River.
 
In addition, the sidewalk around the bridge towers were widened in order to improve access for bicyclists. (Click here to view an elevation drawing of the added width. Click here to see a plan view of the added width.)
 
The project got underway in March 2003 and was completed November 2005.  
 
Photos of the bridge prior to construction (posted Jan 2004)
Photos of the bridge during construction (posted Feb 2004)
Photos of the bridge during construction (posted June 2004)
 
History of Bridge
Portland's northernmost Willamette River Bridge, the St. Johns, was finished in 1931. The bridge replaced the city's last ferry, which linked the communities of Linnton and St. Johns. The bridge is named for the community of St. Johns, which was named in honor of settler James John. Mr. John started the local ferry system with one rowboat in 1852.
 
Designed by internationally renowned engineer David B. Steinman (1886-1960) and Holton D. Robinson, of New York, the St. Johns was the longest suspension-type bridge west of the Mississippi River at the time of construction. It is the only major highway suspension bridge in the Willamette Valley and one of only three major highway suspension bridges in Oregon.
 
The four-lane structure features lofty Gothic arch towers of steel, Gothic-inspired steel frame piers of reinforced concrete, and the longest "pre-stressed" steel cable rope strands designed up to the time of construction. Steinman also selected the color of the bridge, Verde green, which he chose to harmonize with the forest at the west end of the structure.
 
Of the 400 bridges 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." Contrary to popular belief, Steinman did not design San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Bridge.
 
For more information about the architecture and history of the St. Johns Bridge, visit ODOT's Historic Bridge web site.
 

ODOT Contact Information
Stacy Codington, ODOT Senior Community Affairs Coordinator, 503-731-8281