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 grandfather’s farm.
Then in the summer of 1997 my family took a trip to Coos Bay, Oregon. While driving down the Oregon coast I discovered Oregon’s 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)
Arch Bracing and HangersJacob Conser Bridge (Marion County, Oregon)
I found this while going through some of my grandparents old trinkets. These tokens were used after the construction of the southbound bridge in 1958 and the toll was lifted in 1966.
This is just my opinion so take it for what is it worth...
I believe these are the break point for the era of bridges with historic value and the interstate era of throwaway standardized structures.
When the designers quite trying to build structures with aesthetically pleasing details and switched to standard rails and other details is when the bridges quit becoming historically significant.
I personally think if a tee beam bridge has a visually pleasing rail and/or other detailing and was built to blend with or enhance it's surrounding then it is worthy of mention.
If it has a simple guardrail and no unique detailing it should be relegated to Ugly Bridges.
I believe Nathan is correct in assuming that the structure is a tee beam. It would be inventoried in the NBI as a tee beam if it were located in Oregon. Though it likely is rigidly cast into the abutment it is probably too early a vintage to be a true rigid frame.
Of course we could argue about the reinforcing but either way it certainly is not a slab.
All I can say is "WOW"...
From what I can find the history of the bridge is as follows....
Approaches replaced: 1953
Approaches widened, added and modified various years in 1960's & 70's.
Main spans replaced: 1982-84.
These dates are all based off the available plan sheets in ODOT's system.
I hope this helps clear up any questions.
I will check into this date issue when I get a chance. I'll be doing an inspection on the replacement bridge soon.
This bridge is actually located in Linn County. Once the county was switched the NBI data became available.
I made the change for you Mike, my apologies for intruding.
The 2014 inspection report states the NBI#37 is a "5" for what it is worth....
Nice photo! As a bridge inspector I must appreciate such work.
I am so glad someone finally thought of the children!!
Sen. Leonard "Lirpa" Sloof should be our next president, because "nobody" could be better than the candidates we have right now!
I look forward to the first of April post on bridgehunter each year....
I am currently on an oversight committee for a research project at a local university studying UAV (drone) applicability for bridge inspections.
My personal opinion on the matter so far is it will be a good tool for checking things such as repairs, overall condition and minor defects. I do not think the technology has evolved enough to be relying on a drone for critical members or details.
I do not see drones replacing a hands on inspection until you can clearly see cracks in steel with the camera. Also the drone needs to be able to get to a point where the inside of a gusseted connection can be properly examined.
Just my take on the issue since it is something I am vested in.
It should be noted that there are two John Day Rivers in the state of Oregon. This bridge and the nearby railroad bridge cross the smaller lesser know version of the river in Clatsop County in extreme northwestern Oregon. The remaining bridges listed on this site cross the larger better known river that meanders through eastern Oregon. I made the category changes to reflect this.
Art is in the eye of the beholder.
Just keep doing what you are doing, if you enjoy it and feel it is enhancing to the site's experience.
Glad to see someone has finally devoted the time to getting good shots of this giant truss. Nice photo documentation!
Good work Royce!
You do not have to stop, that was just a suggestion as to my interpretation of the other comment.
The only constructive criticism I can offer is when I “shotgun” bridges like we are talking about, I try to pick out the best shots with minimal amounts of cars or blurring to post and save the rest in my own files.
I checked it out yesterday just for fun after I replied to the original post. I have taken over 18,000 bridge photos in the Pacific Northwest and have only posted per the leaderboard 8,162 photos including HAER photos (which seems obsessive to me). That means I have deemed more than half of them as unworthy of posting.
I did this small amount of research because I thought the post was directed at me since I posted quite of bit of material yesterday, but then I looked at the other updates and thought it might be at you as well.
Keep up the work and carry on bridge hunting friend!
The one place I may be able to understand this comment is in the case where we are essentaily doing the same thing as Google Street View with mass quanities of photos walking our way through a bridge from a car. Sometimes that is the only way to get some shots, but other than that???