1 vote

BGCM - Orofino Creek Bridge


BGCM - Orofino Creek Bridge

Main span side elevation from the southeast.

Photo taken by Mike Goff in June 2022


BH Photo #536082

Street View 


This is a rare Northern Pacific designed shallow floor plate-lattice through girder of 1895. It was originally installed at Lighting Creek on the NP mainline at Clark Fork Idaho, and carried a cast plate identifying it as such, into the 1970s. Original Cooper engine rating was about E-30, but it may have been strengthened.

See Engineering News, V38, 1897/07/08, p23+ & centerfold for background and drawings of this bridge. Also EN V38, 1897/07/15, p45+ & centerfold for related designs.


Pony/through plate-lattice girder bridge over Orofino Creek on Railroad (BG&CM)
Orofino, Clearwater County, Idaho
Open to traffic
Main span built 1895; relocated here 1945
- Milwaukee Bridge & Iron Works of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Bountiful Grain & Craig Mountain Railroad (BGCM)
- Camas Prairie Railroad (CSP)
- Great Northwest Railroad (GRNW)
- Northern Pacific Railway (NP)
The original NP designed plate-lattice through girder span, combining plate girder construction at the ends, and a lattice girder in the center half.
Length of largest span: 100.0 ft.
Total length: 150.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+46.47673, -116.25397   (decimal degrees)
46°28'36" N, 116°15'14" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
11/557268/5147288 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Orofino West
Inventory number
BH 56588 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 10, 2022: New photos from Mike Goff
  • January 31, 2020: Updated by Geoff Hubbs: Added links to video and photo
  • January 30, 2020: Updated by John Marvig: Added information from NP bridge records
  • March 10, 2018: Updated by Luke: Added builder
  • March 9, 2018: Updated by John C Stutz: Updated description, added historical references.
  • June 12, 2013: Added by Luke Harden



BGCM - Orofino Creek Bridge
Posted July 11, 2022, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Northern Pacific used several unusual "lattice girder" spans during the late 1890s. I have linked two articles regarding some of these designs. Unfortunately, not many remain.



Here are a few examples of the differing designs used. Northern Pacific also considered shallow deck trusses and some pony trusses to be "lattice girders" as well.






RE: BGCM - Orofino Creek Bridge
Posted July 11, 2022, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Drove right past the Phoenix Whipple in the dark the night before. This wasn't exactly a bridge hunting trip, just got to make a few quick stops. Had I known it was there I definitely would have made it happen.

BGCM - Orofino Creek Bridge
Posted July 11, 2022, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Fascinating bridge! It is like a more "girdery" approach to bridge design, compared to this one, which is more "trussy"


http://bridgehunter.com/mi/gogebic/bh52301/ Mike, Did you make it 20 miles south to the Phoenix Whipple? http://bridgehunter.com/id/lewis/bh56584/

BGCM - Orofino Creek Bridge
Posted July 10, 2022, by Jesse Sharkoman Berube (jesseberube5 [at] gmail [dot] com)

now thats cool! also a great way to cut costs on materials

BGCM - Orofino Creek Bridge
Posted July 10, 2022, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I have looked at a lot of bridges in my life now and this might be the most interesting structure I have come across from an engineering perspective.

The mid-span truss/lattice web section is quite unique!

BG&CM - Orofino Creek Bridge
Posted March 10, 2018, by Anonymous

Volume numbers for those Engineering News articles? Google Books indexes them by volume.