Tag Archives: historic bridges

Burnside Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] The Burnside Bridge was originally opened in 1894 and it was a slow-opening swing-span bridge. The newer bridge was opened in 1926 and was constructed as a Three steel deck truss spans with one double-leaf Strauss bascule movable main span and two fixed side spans. The main span length is 252 feet and the height above the water is 64 feet. It’s the only Willamette River bridge in Portland that was designed with input from an architect. This led to the Italian Renaissance towers and decorative metal railings. However, the two towers were only built on the south side of the bridge and this photo was taken from the north side. Street cars crossed the bridge until 1950 but now it’s used by automobiles, pedestrians and bicycles. It a great bridge to walk across and the Burnside skatepark is located underneath the bridge on the east side of the river. Some of city’s best views are from the south walkway of the bridge.

Steel Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] Portland’s Steel Bridge was opened in 1912 but its precursor was built in 1888. This bridge is the only double-deck vertical lift bridge of its type in the world and it’s one of the most multimodal in the world. It has three steel double-deck truss spans and two fixed side spans. The lower deck of the lift span was built for trains and may be lifted independently, telescoping into trusses of the upper deck that was built for street railways, pedestrians, automobiles and horse-powered vehicles. Eventually, the light rail train travels over the upper deck and pedestrians and the Union Pacific Railroad use the lower deck. However, both decks may be lifted together. This makes it one of the most amazing and spectacular bridges in the world. An it’s hard to imagine that it was built in 1912. Its main span length is 211 feet and the center height above water is 72 feet. The Steel Bridge is what most people use to cross the Willamette river when they are jogging, walking or bicycling around the city. There are also several Osprey or Hawks that can be seen resting on the tops of the bridge. This photo was taken from the east side of the river with parts of downtown Portland in the picture.