Tag Archives: Oregon bridges

Fremont Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] The Fremont bridge was the longest arch bridge of its type in the world until a bigger arch bridge was opened in China in 2004. However, it’s still the second longest bridge of its type in the world. The bridge is 381 feet above the water level and its main span length is 1,255 feet. It was opened in 1973 and is a Steel Three-span half-through tied arch with orthotropic steel upper deck and Steel box girder approach spans. The view while crossing the bridge offers the best views of the city when looking south. Unfortunately, no pedestrians or bicycles are allowed on the bridge since there aren’t any sidewalks. The bridge has two decks with south bound and north bound travelers separated by each of the decks. Peregrine Falcon nests are located on different parts of the bridge.

Morrison Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] The Morrison Bridge was once a wooden truss swing span bridge that opened in 1887 and was the first Willamette River bridge in Portland and the longest bridge west of the Mississippi. The second Morrison Bridge was built in 1905 and wasn’t designed for automobiles so the bridge was again redesigned in 1958 in order to accommodate automobiles. The Morrison Bridge is a draw bridge and has three steel deck truss spans with one double-leaf bascule movable main span and two fixed side spans. the main span length is 284 feet with its total length at 760 feet and is 69 feet above the water line at its center length. Pedestrians and bicycles are allowed on the bridge and it serves as a major commuting tool for pedestrians. The two towers on the south side of the bridge resemble old fashioned airport control towers. There are several great views of the city if you are walking over the bridge. You have great views of downtown Portland or of old town Portland on the north side and the Lloyd district on the east side of the river.

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.

St. Jonhs Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] The St. Johns bridge is the Willamette Valley’s only major suspension bridge but at the time of its opening in 1931 it had the longest span of any suspension bridge west of Detroit’s Ambassador bridge. the main span length is 1,207 feet and the tower height is 400 feet above the water. The St. Johns is also the tallest bridge in Portland. There is pedestrian access for both joggers and bicycles and you have a pretty nice view of the Port of Portland and downtown Portland at about the mid point of the bridge. It’s worth making the walk and make sure to bring your camera and tripod. You can get a good view of the bridge from either side of the river. Forest Park, on the west side, has several vantage points and the St. Johns neighborhood, on the east side of the river has great views from the park. You also have a good chance of seeing Osprey, bald eagle or Hawks near the bridge.

Broadway Bridge in Portland, OR

[/caption] The Broadway bridge was the longest double-leaf bascule drawbridge in the world when it opened in 1913. It is a “rolling” lift span and has one of the most complicated and rarest opening methods of any movable bridge type anywhere else in the world. Now that the city of Portland is almost done extending the max line train service over the bridge, it will allow pedestrians to travel over the bridge without needing their automobile. The Broadway also offers one of the best views of Portland when standing or walking on the north side of the bridge. There is ample room to walk, jog or ride your bike and there are staircases that allow pedestrians to climb down in order to avoid the automobile congestion on either end. This photo was taken from the east side of the Willamette river and the buildings seen here are of the Pearl district. You can make the loop around the waterfront and the Broadway bridge is the northern most bridge that connects the loop system. You may catch an Osprey or Hawk standing on the top of the bridge or flying under or over it. You can also see snow caped Mt. Hood on a sunny day.