[/caption] The Hawthorne Bridge was first opened in 1910 but it’s precursors were built in 1891 and 1900. It’s the oldest vertical lift bridge in operation in the United States as well as the oldest highway bridge in Portland. It’s also the busiest bicycle and transit bridge in Portland. However, sometimes having one of the oldest bridges can come with some baggage since it can be raised as many as 200 times per month. The bridge is only 49 feet above the river and even less during spring runoff. The Hawthorne bridge was one of the first vertical lift bridges built and is now the oldest of its kind surviving in the United States. The bridge literally lifts straight up unlike a drawbridge. It’s an awesome thing to watch and bridge buffs will stare in awe as it slowly climbs towards the sky. The vertical lift is 110 feet and the horizontal clearance is 230 feet. Some of the best city views can be seen while walking or biking across. There are several great views of the bridge but the most photographed spot is from the east side of the Willamette river. You can choose the best views from either the south or north side of the bridge. They’re both awesome and I’ve spent hours taking pictures of the city with the Hawthorne included.