2 votes

Van Buren Bridge


Van Buren Bridge

Photo taken by Michael Goff on March 2, 2008


BH Photo #115853

Street Views 


Swing span bridge over Willamette River on OR-34 Eastbound
Corvallis, Benton County, Oregon, and Linn County, Oregon
Open to traffic
Future prospects
Consideration of alternatives to improve traffic flow in this area is underway. Demolition and replacement on existing alignment is among the alternatives.
Built 1913
- Andrew J. Porter (Engineer)
- Coast Bridge Co. of Portland, Oregon (Fabrication and Construction)
Through truss with swing span
Length of largest span: 249.0 ft.
Total length: 708.0 ft.
Deck width: 18.5 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.5 ft.
Also called
Willamette River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.56544, -123.25643   (decimal degrees)
44°33'56" N, 123°15'23" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/479637/4934710 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
OR 02728 (Oregon Dept. of Transportation structure number)
BH 29848 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of June 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 49.2 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • November 7, 2019: New photos from Mike Goff
  • May 15, 2019: New photos from Mike Garland
  • April 10, 2018: New photo from Richard Doody
  • March 11, 2018: New Street View added by Leslie R trick
  • August 26, 2013: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • March 31, 2011: New photos from Michael Goff
  • December 1, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now at risk for demolition and replacement.
  • April 26, 2010: New Street View added by Michael Goff
  • January 5, 2009: New photos from Michael Goff
  • June 24, 2008: New photos from Michael Goff

Related Bridges 


  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth
  • Van Buren Bridge Replacement - ODOT project webpage
  • HABS OR-183 - Corvallis Downtown Historic District, Bounded by First & Sixth Streets, Van Buren & Western Avenues, Corvallis, Benton, OR
  • Wikipedia - Van Buren Street Bridge
  • Douglas Butler
  • Leslie R Trick - Leslie [dot] Trick [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Richard Doody
  • Mike Garland - Rapier342 [at] comcast [dot] net


Van Buren Bridge
Posted June 16, 2021, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I visited this beautiful structure back in October last year. Definitely a tough situation given the lack of space in that area to build a new bridge without removing the old one. All 3 spans are unique and need to stay together!

Van Buren Bridge
Posted June 15, 2021, by Mimi (GrateCarrots_Why [at] protonmail [dot] com)

A local historic preservation group, Preservation Works, is working to retain and reuse this 108 year old bridge as a dedicated bicycle and pedestrian facility. From an economic and historic preservation perspective, keeping the Van Buren Bridge in itís current location makes the most sense. Since the Oregon Department of Transportation insists their new bridge must be built in the location of the original, Preservation Works raised $30,000 for an independent engineering study to evaluate relocating, restoring, and seismically retrofitting the Van Buren Bridge. For more information check out their website: Presworks.org

Van Buren Bridge
Posted June 22, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

They are considering preservation options. So far the thought is to move it. in my opinion, completely impractical. Better place the new bridge on a different alignment.


Van Buren Bridge
Posted October 23, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I can't believe they really are planning to demolish and replace this bridge. I thought Oregon had a good commitment to preservation. Or does that commitment only extend to Conde McCullough bridges and Oregon Coast Highway Bridges, and other bridges are sent to the scrapyard? This bridge is extremely rare in the context of Oregon.


Van Buren Bridge
Posted May 27, 2013, by Pat Henderson (pwdh88[at]peak [dot] org)

When the Corp of Engineers still dredged the Willamette river, there was considerable barge traffic on the waterway.

The Van Buren street bridge was designed to swing open to allow large craft or loads to pass upstream.

I'm not certain if an electrical motor was ever installed on the opening mechanism, but I do know that one night some Oregon State College students got hold of the crank that was used as a back-up mechanical system and manually cranked the bridge open, much to the consternation of morning motorists. ( It was the only Corvallis span over the river at the time.)

Officials stopped stowing the crank on the bridge itself and eventually rendered the opening mechanism inoperable to prevent a repeat episode, especially after dredging stopped and the the river was no longer used by large vessels.

( You don't want to know what engineering students then did to the city's traffic lights.)

-- Pat Henderson


Van Buren Bridge
Posted December 1, 2010, by Sheldon Wiens (sheldon_wiens77 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Hey everyone,

My apology, but this won't relate to bridges. But I wanted to share with you all a map I created of how Aulne, Kansas will look like in the future hopefully. Aulne is a very small town that is close to Marion. It has a church, an old bank that was built in 1909, and it has about eleven houses. I've been through this little town very many times in my life. Ever since I was eight years old, my mind created an imagination about Aulne becoming a bigger city. On Google Maps, I created the map of my imagination in the future. Click on this link to view my map I created:


Van Buren Bridge
Posted July 10, 2008, by jon king (jonk13 [at] earthlink [dot] net)

while kayaking we were looking at the gearing that apparently swung the bridge open. the deck no longer seems to be swingable. any where to look to see how that worked?