Rating:
4 votes

Mill City Trail - North Fork Santiam River Bridge

Photos 

North Santiam Railroad Bridge

Photo taken by Michael Goff on March 20, 2010

Enlarge

BH Photo #162249

Map 

Street View 

Description 

This interesting structure is largely made of wrought iron, although some steel' reinforcement was added in 1919 when it was relocated to its present position.

It was made by Phoenix Bridge Company in 1888 for the crossing of Gienega Creek south of San Jose, California, on the Southern Pacific Company Coast Line. The compression members are segmented wrought iron sections riveted together to form tubes. These sections are similar to the iron framework of the Washington Monument and the columns used to support the first elevated railways in New York City.

When the Southern Pacific Company abandoned the Mill City branch, they gave the bridge to the city. It is now decked over for a footpath.

(http://www.oregoncities.us/millcity/)

Facts 

Overview
Pratt through truss bridge over North Fork Santiam River on Mill City Trail
Location
Mill City, Marion County, Oregon, and Linn County, Oregon
Status
Open to pedestrians
History
Built 1888 near San Jose, CA, Relocated to Mill City 1919.
Builder
- Phoenix Bridge Co. of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania (Fabricator)
Railroads
- Rail-to-trail
- Southern Pacific Railroad (SP)
Design
The North Santiam River Bridge is a well-preserved example of a Phoenix Bridge Company pin-connected through Pratt truss. The Pratt truss design has counter truss members in the middle two truss panels. The bridge also features the patented Phoenix Columns in the design.
The bridge is constructed primarily of wrought iron, but some steel reinforcements were added when the bridge was relocated to Mill City in 1919.
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 120.0 ft.
Total length: 285.0 ft.
Deck width: 15.0 ft.
Also called
Mill City Railroad Bridge
North Santiam Railroad Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.75527, -122.47787   (decimal degrees)
44°45'19" N, 122°28'40" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/541326/4955896 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Mill City North
Inventory number
BH 44848 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 19, 2016: New photos from Mike Garland
  • April 25, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • April 12, 2010: Added by Michael Goff

Sources 

  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth
  • Mike Garland - Rapier342 [at] comcast [dot] net

Comments 

Mill City Trail - North Fork Santiam River Bridge
Posted August 25, 2019, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

George,

I looked into the bridge a little. I found a few locations that originally had 120' through trusses erected over them in the 1880s. However, none were Mill Creek or Gienega Creek.

Mill City Trail - North Fork Santiam River Bridge
Posted August 20, 2019, by John Marvig

George,

I have some records for Southern Pacific trusses built between 1880 and the early 1900s. I will take a look and see what I can come up with and get back to you.

Mill City Trail - North Fork Santiam River Bridge
Posted August 20, 2019, by George Kramer (george [at] preserveoregon [dot] com)

Most sources report that this bridge was originally erected over "Gienega Creek," south of San Jose. I am wondering where that information comes from, if only because there is no "Gienega Creek," in California (nor anywhere else that I can locate). There is a Cienega Creek, near Monterey, CA but I'm not convinced it ever would have required a 120-foot railroad bridge or that one was ever built. Any help would be appreciated!

North Santiam Railroad Bridge
Posted February 13, 2015, by M. Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Art,

I would guess they are talking about the Hayden Bridge. It is the only other Phoenix Column bridge in the state that I am aware of. Plus I know the owner is looking to remove their liability surrounding the structure. As for it being near Cottage Grove, the only thing I can say is on a global scale that statment is correct.

Mike

North Santiam Railroad Bridge
Posted February 12, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Great news for this bridge but it mentions that the other Phoenix Column bridge in "Cottage Grove" is being dismantled! Do they mean the Hayden Bridge?!?

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/local/stayton/201...

North Santiam Railroad Bridge
Posted February 12, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Great news for this bridge but it mentions that the other Phoenix Column bridge in "Cottage Grove" is being dismantled! Do they mean the Hayden Bridge?!?

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/local/stayton/201...

North Santiam Railroad Bridge
Posted June 4, 2010, by GALE RASK (galerask [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I FISHED & PLAYED UNDER THAT BRIDGE WHEN I WAS ABOUT 10 YRS OLD .1960

North Santiam Railroad Bridge
Posted April 12, 2010, by Craig Philpott (cphilpott [at] puc [dot] edu)

What a great set of pictures. I love these old Phoenix columns. Maybe these are more common back in the mid west but out here on the West Coast, not so many still stand.

Here are three examples in Northern California, all of which have been relocated at one time in their service. It seems to me, that two of the bridges below may have been in the same original span, I would love to know where and when.

http://bridgehunter.com/ca/mendocino/10C0046/

http://bridgehunter.com/ca/sonoma/20C0005/

http://bridgehunter.com/ca/sonoma/bh43377/