7 votes

McMillin Bridge


North Portal Looking SE

Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #138886

Street Views 


Concrete truss bridge over Puyallup River on WA 162 in McMillin
McMillin, Pierce County, Washington
Open to pedestrians only
Built 1934. Bypassed by a new vehicular bridge and left in place in 2015.
- Dolph Jones of Tacoma, Washington (Contractor)
- Homer Hadley of Seattle, Washington (Conceptual Designer)
- W.H. Witt Co. of Seattle, Washington (Consulting Design Firm)
This is a rare example of a reinforced-concrete through truss bridge. The form of its members and details are unique. At the time of its construction it was thought to be the longest concrete truss or beam span in the country. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The McMillan Bridge was built by Pierce County in 1934. It replaced a steel truss span of the same name and location, damaged by flooding of the Puyallup River. Similar to its predecessor, the new bridge employed a through-truss type, enabling it to accommodate the largest practical waterway. This required its width and length to increase.
Length of largest span: 170.0 ft.
Total length: 210.0 ft.
Deck width: 22.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 16, 1982
Also called
Puyallup River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.12974, -122.23593   (decimal degrees)
47°07'47" N, 122°14'09" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/557948/5219864 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2012)
Inventory numbers
NRHP 82004275 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 42418 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2015)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 40.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • July 25, 2022: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • September 23, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • October 26, 2015: Updated by Nathan Holth: Bridge has been bypassed.
  • December 10, 2014: Updated by Nathan Holth: No longer doomed.
  • December 14, 2010: New photos from Nathan Holth
  • May 19, 2009: Updated by Michael Goff
  • April 21, 2009: Added by Michael Goff

Related Bridges 



McMillin Bridge
Posted May 12, 2018, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

Pierce County Washington's Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission is hosting an interpretive sign dedication at this bridge on Tuesday, May 15.

For more information: http://piercecountywa.org/5738/McMillin-Bridge

McMillin Bridge
Posted December 12, 2014, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

I think this is considered a through truss because the two sidewalks go through the trusses. It's definitely an oddity that is hard to classify, though.

Massachusetts does have a bridge with a somewhat similar configuration with steel trusses:


McMillin Bridge
Posted December 12, 2014, by Zachary S

And half the time the NBI lists pony or through trusses as deck trusses or vice versa, so really, the NBI data is often... not especially helpful in determining the bridge type.

McMillin Bridge
Posted December 12, 2014, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)


A pony truss is technically just a sub-category of through truss. So, either one it technically correct. In the NBI Coding Guide for bridge inspection there isn't even an option for pony truss, they are just lumped in with the through trusses. So in conclusion it is not all that uncommon to see a pony truss listed as a through truss since all the data is based off the NBI.

I hope that makes it as clear as mud.

Have a good day,


McMillin Bridge
Posted December 11, 2014, by Barry (bllauver [at] toad [dot] net)

Not argumentative. I really want to know. How is this through truss when there are no lateral braces or portal braces over the roadway?

McMillin Bridge
Posted April 4, 2014, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This bridge is the focus bridge on the Historic Bridge Foundation's brand new Facebook page:


McMillin Bridge
Posted February 15, 2011, by Michael Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] odot [dot] state [dot] or [dot] us)

WSDOT is asking for public input on the future of the McMillin Bridge. The McMillin Bridge is a unique concrete through truss, and the only one to my knowledge of this scale in the United States.

WSDOT is considering leaving the bridge in place for historic purposes but they are also considering removing the structure so input is valuable to the process.

If you believe this is a historic structure worth preserving I encourage you to email or call the project office.