4 votes

Portland Traction - Clackamas River Bridge


Clackamas River Trolley Bridge

Photo taken by Michael Goff on November 2, 2009


BH Photo #149241

Street View 


Abandoned Warren through truss bridge over Clackamas River on Abandoned Portland Traction Company Rail/Trolley Line
Gladstone, Clackamas County, Oregon
Built 1908; Abandoned 1968; Foundation failed and bridge scrapped 2014
- J.C.B. Lockwood of Portland, Oregon (Designer)
- Northwest Bridge Works of Portland, Oregon (Fabricator)
- Robert Wakefield of Portland, Oregon (Erection)
- Interurban
- Portland Electric Power Co. (PEPCO)
- Portland General Electric (PGE)
- Portland Railway, Light & Power Co. (PRL&P)
- Portland Traction Co. (PTC)
The Clackamas River Trolley Bridge is a riveted connected Warren through truss crossing the Clackamas River in Gladstone. The Warren truss replaced the original wooden Howe truss built in 1893 at the same location. The bridge served on the main trolley line between Oregon City and Portland until the trolley service was stopped in 1954. The bridge continued to serve freight traffic until safety concerns forced the rail company to abandon the line in 1968.
Length of largest span: 260.0 ft.
Total length: 290.0 ft.
Also called
PTC - Clackamas River Bridge
PRL&P - Clackamas River Bridge
Gladstone Trolley Bridge
Trolley Trail - Clackamas River Bridge (Possible future name)
Portland Avenue Trolley Bridge
PEPCO - Clackamas River Bridge
PGE - Clackamas River Bridge
Portland Interurban Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+45.37718, -122.59259   (decimal degrees)
45°22'38" N, 122°35'33" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/531898/5024932 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 43625 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 5, 2020: New photos from Mike Garland
  • April 12, 2017: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • March 23, 2016: Updated by Luke: Added builders + historical image
  • March 9, 2014: Updated by Luke Harden: Removed/Demolished
  • March 6, 2014: New Street View added by Dave King
  • March 6, 2014: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Portland Traction Co."
  • November 16, 2009: Added by Michael Goff


  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Luke
  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com
  • Mike Garland - Rapier342 [at] comcast [dot] net


Portland Traction - Clackamas River Bridge
Posted April 10, 2014, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I can see how the bridge might have been a hazard to work on while it was on that failed bent. But after the bridge was brought down into the river, it looks (based only on my review of the photos provided) reasonably stable to me. Just from a technical standpoint, wouldn't it have been feasible to develop a safe way to lift the bridge out of the river intact at that point... after it was dropped in the river? Based on the photos, the bridge does not appear to be badly damaged after it was dropped in the river. Any damage caused by it dropping in the river could have perhaps been repaired by heat straightening, etc.

Portland Traction - Clackamas River Bridge
Posted April 9, 2014, by Bob Hirte (bhi)

I am the contractor that brought that bridge down. When I showed up onsite, my initial approach was to try and stabilize it. Upon a detailed inspection of the failed footing it became apparent there was no way to save it without endangering people's lives. No bridge is worth that. I cannot tell you why the bridge was standing, it shouldn't have been. Knowing what UP went through in the previous years trying to stabilize, donate, get rid of the bridge, I would say that in my opinion, government red tape brought this bridge down in the end. I have to give UP credit for taking care of the situation and responding to the emergency in the right manner. They tried to do the right thing before it became a problem but couldn't get anything done until it was too late.

Portland Traction - Clackamas River Bridge
Posted March 17, 2014, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The demolition of this bridge is both short-sighted and ignorant. Very disappointing. This bridge could have and should have been saved, despite its condition. Collapsed bridges have been saved a number of times.

The bridge came down today
Posted March 9, 2014, by Adam
Portland Traction - Clackamas River Bridge
Posted March 6, 2014, by M. Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Just left the site. It doesn't look good, it might make it through the night. However, with more rain in the forecast it might not make it through the weekend.

Clackamas River Bridge
Posted March 6, 2014, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Hopefully they are smart and get a couple big cranes out here QUICK and pick this bridge before it becomes fish food. I would hate to see the plans to preserve this bridge destroyed because of this substructure problem.

Clackamas River Bridge
Posted March 6, 2014, by Rebecca (rgburrow [at] gmail [dot] com)