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Yaquina Bay Bridge

 Overview

 
The Yaquina Bay Bridge is an iconic structure whose widely published photographs have made it a symbol of the Oregon Coast.

The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 Located in Newport, Oregon, the bridge safely accommodates an average daily traffic of 16,500 vehicles per day and more than 20,000 vehicles per day during peak summer periods.
 
Recent reports, authored by both ODOT and the news media have focused on the future of the bridge.
 
The bridge’s future is also linked to a current long-range planning effort by ODOT and the City of Newport.
 
The "Newport Transportation System Plan Modeling and Analysis Tools Development" project is funded with $150,000 in State Planning and Research funds. Its goal is to develop origin and destination travel data, collect a comprehensive battery of traffic counts, and develop an average annual and peak summer seasonal traffic model for Newport. 
 
ODOT's Transportation Planning and Analysis Unit (TPAU) is also contributing significant time and funding to this effort and is taking the lead in model development. 
 
Some of the work done for this project will contribute to a national modeling research project in which TPAU is participating.  The project will produce the technical tools and background information necessary to analyze current and future transportation conditions in Newport through the year 2035.  It is really a precursor to initiating a full Transportation System Plan (TSP) update for Newport.
 
Using the modeling tool, the full TSP update will build upon the existing and forecast conditions analysis and assess a range of possible options for dealing with identified transportation problems.  If funding is available, the full TSP update is currently expected to begin in the following biennium (July 2015).
 

 History and Construction

 


The Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport is the northern-most of the 5 major coastal bridges designed by the Highway Department's premier bridge designer, Conde B. McCullough, and built between 1934-1936. 

 
The others include: Alsea Bay Bridge at Waldport, Siuslaw River Bridge at Florence, Umpqua River Bridge at Reedsport, and Coos Bay Bridge (McCullough Bridge) at Coos Bay. 
 
Click here to view a video on Conde McCullough (You Tube).
 


 

The Yaquina Bay Bridge is 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 the observation areas.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The original construction contract was awarded to Gilpin Construction Company of Portland.  Total cost of the project was $1,260,621.90 (the figure from the 1934-36 Biennial Report was $1,301,016.25, but this included right-of-way, location surveys, field engineering and contract items). 
 
Approximately 220 men were employed to construct the bridge, providing approximately 499,965 man-hours of labor.
 

Bridge condition  

In August, 2012, the Oregon Department of Transportation published an annual Bridge Condition Report, in compliance with Federal Highway Administration requirements.  The report summarizes bridge conditions in various ways and provides a listing of bridge condition ratings.
 
Because of the technical language associated with the Bridge Condition Report, it is not uncommon for the lay person to be concerned or even confused about a bridge’s actual condition.
 
For example, the bridge received a low "sufficiency rating" which generated news reports.  To learn what a sufficiency rating is, click here.
 
On March 1, 2013, new weight restrictions affecting only the heaviest of heavy-haul freight loads were placed on the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
 
While such a restriction is not uncommon on older bridges, the action added to public concern about the condition and future of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
 
This website is an effort to ease concerns and answer common questions about the bridge’s current condition, its rating, and its future.
 

 Frequently Asked Questions

To learn more about bridge conditions, technical terminology, and plans for the bridge's future, click here.