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Tioga Bridge

Photos 

Tioga Bridge

Photo taken by Mike Goff in October 2013

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BH Photo #271617

Street Views 

Description 

Under normal circumstances the Tioga Bridge normally would not qualify for recognition as a historic or notable bridge in Oregon. However, the unique story surrounding the crossing justifies inclusion in the inventory.

Prior to the massive 1964 flood an arched timber truss bridge spanned the emerald colored waters of the North Umpqua River approximately 20 miles east of Roseburg off Oregon Highway 138. The previous bridge was known locally as the Young’s Bay Bridge due to its association with the Young’s Bay Lumber Company.

The 1964 Christmas Flood destroyed many structures throughout Oregon including the old Young’s Bay Bridge. Though the bridge itself was destroyed the piers of the old bridge survived the flood and stood alone in the river as a reminder of the floods power for the next 48 years.

The Bureau of Land Management began conceptual planning for a pedestrian bridge to be placed at the location of the Young’s Bay Bridge nearly 20 years prior to the construction of the new Tioga Bridge. The bridge would serve as a connection from Highway 138 to the 79-mile long North Umpqua Trail. The new connection would open up additional access to the trail by splitting the nearly 16-mile long Tioga Segment of the trail into two manageable day hike segments.

The new Tioga Bridge was to be placed on the remaining piers of the old structure in order to minimize impacts on the river as well as serve as a cost effective measure for building the new structure. BLM and ODOT engineers undertook the design of the project, while Western Wood Structures Inc. of Tualatin, Oregon completed the design of the main arch span. Weekly Brothers Inc. of nearby Idleyld Park was contracted to construct the new bridge, realign a small stretch of Highway 138 as well as add additional trail facilities to the bridge. The new bridge was completed in early 2013 with the formal ribbon cutting occurring on May 17th.

The new bridge consists of a single 137-foot timber glu-lam tied arch main span flanked by two 70-foot timber glu-lam girder approach spans. The Tioga Bridge is reminiscent of the original Young’s Bay Bridge, but with a modern rustic flare.

Facts 

Overview
Timber through arch bridge over North Umpqua River on North Umpqua Trail Connector
Location
Douglas County, Oregon
Status
Open to pedestrians only
History
Built 2012
Builders
- Paul C. Gilham (Arch Span Designer)
- Robert E. Grubbs (Lead Bridge Designer)
- Seneca Jones Timber Co. of Eugene, Oregon (Lumberer)
- Weekly Brothers Inc. of Idleyld Park, Oregon (Contractor)
- Western Wood Structures of Tualatin, Oregon (Arch Fabricator)
Design
70.0' - Timber girder approach span.
137.6' - Glu-lam timber tied arch main span.
70.0' - Timber glu-lam girder approach span.
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 137.0 ft.
Total length: 276.6 ft.
Deck width: 10.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.29575, -122.91809   (decimal degrees)
43°17'45" N, 122°55'05" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/506643/4793661 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Old Fairview
Inventory number
BH 58956 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 18, 2019: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • May 25, 2017: New photos from Mike Garland
  • September 12, 2014: Updated by Luke: Added category "Seneca Jones Timber Co."
  • December 9, 2013: Added by Mike Goff

Sources 

Comments 

Tioga Bridge
Posted April 16, 2022, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Does anyone know enough about the previous bridge to create and link a page for it?

Tioga Bridge History
Posted April 16, 2022, by Gregg Morgan (buckmorgan [at] gmail [dot] com)

As Roseburg (Oregon) BLMs Sr. Outdoor Recreation Planner, (1992-2013) I spent 22 years working on making a bridge over the North Umpqua Wild and Scenic River (1995) near Susan Creek a reality. The first hurdle was securing three sliver parcels of land on both sides of the river by the old Young’s Bay bridge piers. It took over 20 years to secure funding for the County parcels. The County Planner said for years that BLM Should get funding to purchase them so a bridge could be rebuilt. But by 2011 when large Federal Highway and Scebic Byway grants began become available. One new Commissioner of that time decided not to support the sale of land. She was overridden by the other two commissioners so the project could commence. I applied for three large grants ($3.5M) for purchase of the Douglas County lands, (under 20 acres for $500k) and for the design, construction and partner labor of the new Tioga Bridge. Many partnerships were developed. I worked to get ODOT in Roseburg to agree to oversee design and project management since Roseburg BLM didn’t have experienced bridge engineers, rather had great road engineers. Also, ODOT was better to deal with the major Highway 138 realignment along the tight east side of the river to make the footings fit. There was a lawsuit that was appealed all the way to the 9th Circuit Court. BLM was upheld in three lawsuits vs. a local couple in the courts on a tight timeline as the bridge began the construction phase. The appellants pleaded all three courts to put a stay on construction, which all judges disagreed with. I have much info, files and photos on the Tioga Bridge project as the lead planner for BLM on it. It was a fabulous and rewarding experience. I would be willing to augment the description with more history and challenges we faced to get the bridge constructed… and a smaller secondary bridge built over Susan Creek that leads to a parking area. There wasn’t room at the bridge for more than a dozen parallel parking spots along the highway. And fishermen want some of those. Anyway… so much more available.

See “Tioga Bridge and Emerald Trail” video clip on You Tube. (W photo of Kayakers on River)

Gregg Morgan. Retired BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner, Roseburg. Now in Utah. 541 670-1665.

Tioga Bridge History
Posted April 16, 2022, by Gregg Morgan (buckmorgan [at] gmail [dot] com)

As Roseburg (Oregon) BLMs Sr. Outdoor Recreation Planner, (1992-2013) I spent 22 years working on making a bridge over the North Umpqua Wild and Scenic River (1995) near Susan Creek a reality. The first hurdle was securing three sliver parcels of land on both sides of the river by the old Young’s Bay bridge piers. It took over 20 years to secure funding for the County parcels. The County Planner said for years that BLM Should get funding to purchase them so a bridge could be rebuilt. But by 2011 when large Federal Highway and Scebic Byway grants began become available. One new Commissioner of that time decided not to support the sale of land. She was overridden by the other two commissioners so the project could commence. I applied for three large grants ($3.5M) for purchase of the Douglas County lands, (under 20 acres for $500k) and for the design, construction and partner labor of the new Tioga Bridge. Many partnerships were developed. I worked to get ODOT in Roseburg to agree to oversee design and project management since Roseburg BLM didn’t have experienced bridge engineers, rather had great road engineers. Also, ODOT was better to deal with the major Highway 138 realignment along the tight east side of the river to make the footings fit. There was a lawsuit that was appealed all the way to the 9th Circuit Court. BLM was upheld in three lawsuits vs. a local couple in the courts on a tight timeline as the bridge began the construction phase. The appellants pleaded all three courts to put a stay on construction, which all judges disagreed with. I have much info, files and photos on the Tioga Bridge project as the lead planner for BLM on it. It was a fabulous and rewarding experience. I would be willing to augment the description with more history and challenges we faced to get the bridge constructed… and a smaller secondary bridge built over Susan Creek that leads to a parking area. There wasn’t room at the bridge for more than a dozen parallel parking spots along the highway. And fishermen want some of those. Anyway… so much more available.

See “Tioga Bridge and Emerald Trail” video clip on You Tube. (W photo of Kayakers on River)

Gregg Morgan. Retired BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner, Roseburg. Now in Utah. 541 670-1665.

Tioga Bridge
Posted December 14, 2013, by Zachary S

Wow. That's one of the nicest and most aesthetically-pleasing modern bridges you're ever gonna see!

RE: Tioga Bridge
Posted December 13, 2013, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Thank you Tony. I went back and forth on whether or not to add this bridge. I didn’t want to water down the quality of the structures on the site with a modern pedestrian structure. However, I finally decided that the full circle bridge story was worth telling.

Tioga Bridge
Posted December 12, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is certainly the type of modern bridge addition that I like. The history of the old bridge and the recreation of a modern facsimile is really pretty cool!