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.