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BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge

Photos 

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge

Side elevation from the east.

Photo taken by Mike Goff in January 2014

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BH Photo #273601

Map 

Street View 

Video 

Rich Clark via Facebook

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Description 

This bridge is nationally significant as the only remaining example of its kind in the United States, displaying the unique patented design that Strauss developed. This type of vertical lift bridge avoids the use of traditional towers and cables. The only other currently known example of this type is located in Prince George, British Columbia.

Facts 

Overview
Vertical lift bridge over Chambers Bay on BNSF Railroad
Location
Pierce County, Washington
Status
Open to traffic
History
Originally built 1913-1914 for Northern Pacific Railway.
Builder
- Strauss Bascule Bridge Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Railroads
- Amtrak (AMTK)
- Amtrak Cascades
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
Design
Strauss patent direct-lift vertical lift bridge, pony truss.
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 97.0 ft.
Also called
Bridge 14
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.18711, -122.58409   (decimal degrees)
47°11'14" N, 122°35'03" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/531509/5226040 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Steilacoom
Inventory number
BH 46496 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 13, 2017: New video from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • January 29, 2014: New photos from Mike Goff
  • October 8, 2013: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • August 15, 2013: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • December 3, 2010: New Street View added by Cliff Darby
  • December 2, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added Builder, Additional Info, Statement of Significance

Sources 

Comments 

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted July 5, 2017, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

An Amtrak train derailed at this bridge on July 2, causing no serious injuries. Officials suspect a last-resort derail switch that is supposed to stop a train from advancing if the bridge is open. Article: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/did-...

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted January 31, 2014, by K. A. Erickson

Mike and Nathan, whenever you are in the area we should meet, compare notes ...

It looks like the images were taken last week.

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted January 31, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

You could always rent a sail boat, then they would have to raise the bridge for you!

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted January 30, 2014, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Nathan,

Your assesment is correct. You would need a boat or BNSF permissions to get any closer to the structure. I am planning on taking my kayak the next time I am in the area. I would like to get some close up shots of the lift mechanics.

Thanks,

MG

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted January 30, 2014, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Mike,

Were you able to get any additional angles of this bridge? I have not visited the bridge, but researched it, and it looked like the angle you added to this page was the only angle that would be easy to get without trespassing or use of a boat. Can I assume that your experience confirmed this theory?

Chambers Bay Railroad Bridge
Posted December 3, 2010, by Robert Thompson

What an amazing piece of machinery! It certainly trumps concrete culverts in Kansas.

Chambers Bay Railroad Bridge
Posted December 2, 2010, by Spanfan (susorcar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

FYI-there's an interesting article on the bridge on the website, "oil-electric.com" under the June 2, 2009 blog date. Compares the cable-lift bridge with several other non-cable vertical-lift bridges.