My fascination with bridges runs clear to my soul. Like many kids I loved playing in the dirt with trucks. Naturally this lead me to building bridges for the many Tonka towns in which my cousin and I built when we were kids. Our crowning childhood bridging achievement was the construction of a 60-foot log bridge over the creek on my grandfatherís farm.
Then in the summer of 1997 my family took a trip to Coos Bay, Oregon. While driving down the Oregon coast I discovered Oregonís master bridge builder Conde B. McCullough and his elegant coastal bridges. Upon seeing the magnificent structures over Yaquina Bay, the Siuslaw River and Coos Bay I knew I wanted to be a bridge man.
After graduating from high school I moved to Oregon to study civil engineering. After a couple of years of distractions from my other love, ice hockey, I enrolled at Oregon Institute of Technology to pursue my engineering degree. While at OIT I started a project cataloging the historic bridges of Oregon, Washington and Northern California. My initial focus for this project was to catalog and study the works of McCullough. However I discovered this site and my focus expanded to all types of bridges.
I graduated from OIT in the spring of 2008 with a degree in civil engineering and now work as a bridge inspector for the Oregon Department of Transportation. I became a licensed professional engineer in 2012 and now tinker with bridge maintenance design in addition to my inspection work. I take great pride knowing I am one of the caretakers of these awe inspiring structures and getting to live my childhood dream of working on bridges.
The Favorite Photos listed below show a series of photos that attempt to showcase the masterful work of Conde B. McCullough, I hope you enjoy.
Conde B. McCullough BridgeConde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge (Coos County, Oregon)
Love the drone footage Craig!
When did you shoot this?
I was there inspecting the two highway bridge last month, it is a pretty awesome location.
This bridge was likely constructed during the late 1910's or early 1920's based off the construction of similar bridges throughout Adams County. The 1900 construction date is likely a place holder in the NBI data due to the actual construction date being unknown.
It is looking good Julie, job well done with all you have done to save this interesting bridge.
I'm going to have to make a trip down to Springfield to take a look at some point.
You are correct, that stretch of highway was built in the mid to late 1940's during a realignment of the Pacific Highway. Many of the overflow structures around the Santiam River were timber pile supported bridges.
The interesting part about the Whiteson Dip structure, at least to me, is that it roughly dates to the same time period in which I-5 was being constructed in the Santiam River area as you described. However, it was when the concrete bridges were being constructed and not the earlier timber structures.
The choice for such a large timber structure to be placed on a state highway at such a late date is quite an interesting one to me.
On a side note, we still have well over 200 bridges with timber members sprinkled throughout the state highway system in Western Oregon, with even more on the local roads. Timber, though not necessarily king anymore is still holding strong as a bridge material (at least when it is maintained).
Have a good day,
Also, I updated the numbers since I calculated them...
Looking at the HAER drawings, I found the following information.
Truss spacing: 16' center to center
Horizontal Clearance: ~14'-8" (truss spacing subtracting a thickness of Phoenix Column (15-7/8")
Vertical Clearance: ~19' portal to top of track (floor beam to portal distance, minus stringer, railroad ties, track)
All of this is based off the railroad dimensions provided by HAER, obviously if the deck has been modified by Julie's efforts these measurements would be different.
Leslie, you are correct finished bridge opened last year. I updated the page to reflect the replacement.
"The deck resembles a stale dried out oatmeal cookie", I have to incorporate that into a bridge inspection report at some point. That is pure poetry!
Those Interstate Era steel frames were sure special, it is really too bad they only built a couple of them in very isolated spots in the country...
Of course I joke, it was actually interesting to read the article about the frames.
The "latest in bridge design", maybe the latest step back at the time, beings they typically have fatigue prone details everywhere and are more susceptible to over height hits.
I do have to admit, they are kind of interesting to inspect though.
Luke, as always, you have an amazing ability to dig up information on all sorts of structures from all over the county, my compliments (even though it might not feel like it).
Here is an array of frames from Oregon...
Knowing it can opened adds to my belief that the distortions in the verticals may be the result of the span locking mechanism.
We have similar but not visible span deflections on the Umpqua River Bridge in Reedsport, Oregon.
Does anyone know if this is an active draw bridge?
The bend in the vertical tension bars could be from a jacking/span lock system at the ends of the swing span.
Some of these old swing spans will deflect when they are opened with the free hanging ends dipping downward. When the span is closed a jack/lock will lift them back into place. This lifting could cause some odd compressive forces in the thin tension bar causing it to bend when the bridge is in the closed position.
Just a theory, from seeing other swing bridges.
All I can say is WOW Luke set me up for an adventure by adding this long lost bridge.
I was waiting for some printing and decided I would look this bridge up and add some information on it.
What an interesting history.
We have main spans collapsing, replacements, reconstructions and I never did figure out when the thing was removed.
I have no idea how I missed that Drew Bridge discussion back in May and June, but I read throughout it.
Wow, there was some interesting stuff going on there...
Happy holidays to all the members of the bridgehunter family!
I believe the bridge in the video posted by Rebecca below is the Lewis & Clark Bridge in Longview, Washington.
I know nothing about this structure, I believe when I first added this bridge it was listed with an unknown build date. Then Charles posted something about the 1908 build date which was incorporated into the listing.
I would agree that the truss details are more consistent with something pre-1900. My guess is that the truss was moved to this location in 1908 from somewhere else in the country.
Most rail trusses in the northwest prior to 1900 were timber trusses built in the 1880's and 90's. My guess is the timber decayed away in 20 to 30 years and recycled trusses were brought in to replace the timber. There are plenty of examples of this practice around Oregon.