2 votes

John Day River Bridge 37-04-01x


John Day River Covered Bridge over John Day River in Clatsop County, Oregon

Salem Public Library Historic Photographs Collection, Salem Public Library, Salem, Oregon

View this photo at photos.salemhistory.net

BH Photo #314959



John Day River Covered Bridge in Clatsop County was built in 1918 by the Portland Bridge Company for the State of Oregon. The main span consisted of two 108 foot Howe Trusses with one 40 foot draw span. When the bridge was built it had to be made of wood due to steel shortage caused by First World War. The state bridge engineers overcame their principal prejudice against covered bridges, that is, the lack of light in closed spans by whitewashing the interior and by providing windows at panel points. The John Day at this point is navigable to small boats, hence the decision to provide a draw span of the single leaf bascule type, operated by as windlass. The bridge boasted asphalted laminated floors capable of carrying twenty ton trucks. As with most first class wooden bridges on primary state roads, its cost was high, $25,000 and its life short, only fifteen years.

- Salem Public Library Historic Photographs Collection, Salem Public Library, Salem, Oregon


Lost Howe through truss bridge over John Day River on Columbia River Highway
Clatsop County, Oregon
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1918; Replaced 1933
- Portland Bridge Co. of Portland, Oregon
Two 108' Howe through truss spans
Length of largest span: 108.0 ft.
Total length: 300.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+46.16709, -123.75354   (decimal degrees)
46°10'02" N, 123°45'13" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/441827/5112888 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
WGCB 37-04-01x (World Guide to Covered Bridges number)
BH 65830 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 29, 2016: New photo from Dave King
  • February 3, 2015: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • February 3, 2015: Added by Dave King



John Day River Bridge
Posted April 15, 2015, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

It should be noted that there are two John Day Rivers in the state of Oregon. This bridge and the nearby railroad bridge cross the smaller lesser know version of the river in Clatsop County in extreme northwestern Oregon. The remaining bridges listed on this site cross the larger better known river that meanders through eastern Oregon. I made the category changes to reflect this.