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Lewis & Clark Bridge

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Lewis & Clark Bridge

July 20, 2008

Photo taken by Michael Goff in July 2008

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Description 

The Lewis and Clark Bridge, designed by engineer Joseph B. Strauss, was at the time of construction the longest cantilever span in North America with its 1200-foot central section. Extreme vertical and horizontal shipping channels requirements requested by Portland, Oregon, as a means to prevent the bridges construction created the reason for such an imposing structure.

(Historic American Engineering Record WA-89)

Facts 

Overview
Cantilevered through truss bridge over Columbia River on WA 433 at Longview
Location
Longview, Cowlitz County, Washington, and Columbia County, Oregon
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1929; rehabilitated 2003
Builders
- Bethlehem Steel Co. of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (General Contractor and Steel Fabricator)
- J.H. Pomeroy of San Francisco, California (Steel Erector)
- Joseph Strauss (Engineer)
- Lindstrom & Feigenson of Portland, Oregon (Concrete Sub-Contractor)
- Pacific Bridge Co. of Portland, Oregon (Substructure Contractor)
- Strauss Engineering Co. (Design Firm)
- Wallace Bridge & Structural Steel Co. (Steel Fabricator)
Design
The Lewis and Clark Bridge is a cantilevered through truss bridge over the Columbia River between Longview, Washington and Rainier, Oregon. The bridge has a main cantilevered truss span of 1200-feet with 760-foot anchorage spans on each side of the main span. The main spans of the bridge are approached on the north by 1500-feet of steel trestle and a 168-foot steel Warren deck truss span. The south approach consists of 5 of steel Warren deck truss approach spans measuring a total of 926-feet and a single 28-foot steel girder span.
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 1,200.2 ft.
Total length: 5,478.3 ft. (1.0 mi.)
Deck width: 34.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 20.0 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 16, 1982
Also called
Longview Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+46.10223, -122.96413   (decimal degrees)
46°06'08" N, 122°57'51" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/502772/5105406 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Rainier
Inventory numbers
NRHP 82004208 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 34198 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 02/2012)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 62.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
20,538

Update Log 

  • March 9, 2014: Photos imported by Dave King
  • May 27, 2013: New photos from Larry Matthews
  • September 13, 2010: New Street View added by Michael Goff
  • April 25, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • December 22, 2008: New photos from James Baughn
  • July 21, 2008: New photo from Michael Goff
  • July 7, 2008: Updated by Michael Goff

Related Bridges 

Sources 

Comments 

Lewis & Clark Bridge
Posted June 9, 2013, by Robin Fairchild (robinfairchild [at] gmail [dot] com)

It was on this bridge in 2007 while riding in the STP bicycle ride that I first experienced the unpleasant symptoms that led me to seek out a cardiologist. That in turn revealed that I had a faulty aortic valve which would require replacement. Four years later the operation took place and was successful. I returned to bicycling a few months later. And now I look forward to the Lewis and Clark Bridge on my next STP, which, with luck, will be in 2014.

It is a difficult bridge to ascend on a bike but a fantastic ride on the way down as you descend into Oregon. Fastest I've ever gone on a bike.

Lewis & Clark Bridge
Posted March 18, 2013, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Enjoyed looking at the article. Each historic bridge has a unique story, and I simply feel it should be told as accurately as possible which I why I felt the need to point out the length issue. The story of this bridge is certainly very unusual... the construction of a monumental sized bridge not out of need, but out of politics. It also is one of the few large-span bridges that famous engineer Joseph Strauss actually designed (given that he didn't really have as much to do with the Golden Gate as he and his statue would have you believe). Strauss proposed a design for the Blue Water Bridge in Michigan that was not accepted, but clearly was based off his design for this bridge.

The story of Pont de Quebec is also quite a story, where the effort to construct the world's longest cantilever span took two tries and took the lives of 88 people.

Lewis & Clark Bridge
Posted March 18, 2013, by K. A. Erickson

Nitpick. Nitpick.

I am sure they meant USA or perhaps if there is a Midwest span, longest in the Pacific Northwest.

Do you realize the efforts it took to even get this bridge up? Portland did not want a bridge at Longview and kept imposing new restrictions on design hoping it would not get done. They feared loss of vital shipping with a low span. However since these types of bridges were quite common on the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio Rivers it was easy to do.

http://www.crreader.com/2012/02/24/Columbia-River-History-Bu...

Lewis & Clark Bridge
Posted March 18, 2013, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I don't mean to diminish the extremely high level of historic significance of this magnificent, beautiful historic bridge, however the claim by HAER that its 1200 foot span was the longest in North America when completed is false. Pont de Quebec opened in 1917 has been and likely forever will be the longest cantilever truss span in North America and indeed the world with its 1800 foot span between piers. http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowse...

Lewis & Clark Bridge
Posted July 23, 2008, by Randy Brush

Thank You for photo. It was good bridge. Washington of Transportment already check bridge.

Future Prospect; Scheduled for replacement about Summer 2015. Thank You.