I showed my wife this bridge. She enjoyed it. I took some photos of the deck and girders from below. I got to see some of the deeply disturbing things that are wrong with this bridge. I love these bridges however; I don't believe that this bridge will still be in service in 10 years. It's a shame. These bridges are beautiful.
I have read that the clearance under the main arch is seventy feet, so I seriously doubt you have to worry about getting your sail boat under the span. Of more concern is the depth of water over the bar, that's what ships have traditionally had trouble with, getting into Yaquina Bay.
The sad thing about all these beautiful McCullough bridges, especially the ones on the Oregon coast, is that it turns out that reinforced concrete doesn't do well in a marine environment. Moisture eventually worked its way into the concrete and caused the steel reinforcements to rust and expand, cracking the concrete. The railings on some of these bridges are in deplorable condition, and I hate to think that the support structures might be in a similar shocking state. I believe on some bridges, like the Alsea Bay bridge at Waldport, repairs had earlier been attempted by bolting iron straps and reinforcing plates across cracks, and when these started to rust, it made matters worse. The bridge at Waldport couldn't be saved.
I've also heard that they are taking measures to try to save bridges like the Yaquina bay bridge, and one of the methods they are using is to drill holes into the concrete and attach wires to the reinforcing rods and running electrical currents through them, which appears to retard rust. I'm no expert, but that sounds like a stopgap measure to me. It's sad to think that the very construction methods that made such beautiful bridges possible has also doomed each and every one of them. One by one, these McCullough bridges are being replaced. We had two here in Klamath County and both are now gone. If we are lucky, they are replaced with new bridges that do homage to the original design. But a lot of the coast bridges are irreplaceable and undersized for modern traffic. This does not bode well for the future...
I checked out the report for the bridge and found that the reason for the poor superstructure rating is corrosion in the floor system stringers.
It does mention that repairs have been completed on most of the stringers, however some issues still remain.
I know the ODOT Bridge Preservation Unit is striving to preserve and maintain the remaining important McCullough era bridges and the Yaquina Bay Bridge is no exception. I am fairly confident that the repairs needed for this structure will be made and that the rating should rise in the near future.
Having to replace the Alsea Bay Bridge in 1991 really opened the eyes of the people of Oregon and ODOT to the value of the McCullough designed bridges. So when you get the chance to make it out to the west coast, fear not the Yaquina Bay Bridge will be waiting, unless the Cascadia Subduction Zone acts up (but that is another story).
Mike...I noticed that the 2009 Inspection gave a poor rating on the superstructure of this beauty. Do they have any plans to address this in the near future? I'm sure, like everywhere else, that money is the culprit here.
Nice photos Mike...although I still like the night ones best!
I would definitely agree with you that this one should rank high nationally in significance. You could say that for several other Conde McCullough structures as well. Having been raised on trusses, his work has been largely responsible for broadening my interest in arches...and concrete spans in general.
Hope I can make it out that way someday to see them in person.
The photo collection for this bridge is becoming quite large, but I couldn't resist adding the photos from my sunset walk over the deck this summer. There are some decent photos of the truss detailing and the signature concrete details of Conde McCullough.
I know some may disagree, but I believe this is the most beautiful structure in Oregon if not the country. That is for structural beauty (bridge itself) not natural beauty (natural setting).
J.P. is right, the plans show a navigational window of 400-feet wide by 133-feet tall.
I would imagine most sailing vessels would have no problem with this.
Wikipedia says the clearance 133ft.
You guys have done a great job of documenting this bridge, but there is one item prominently missing for us poor sops who might wish to go under it..... What is the vertical clearance above the water? I know this info is available on the marine charts, but I'm not buying any of those until I know I can reasonably get into some of the places I wish to visit along the coast.
S/V Mistress II
This is an amazing structure......one of the many that Conde McCullough designed. Michael, your photos of this beauty do it justice.....#31-33 are some of the best I have seen. #31 in particular is just stunning!