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Canyon Creek Bridge


Canyon Creek Bridge

Gerald W. Williams Collection,

Oregon State University's other digital collections

View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #213378


The Canyon Creek Bridge was an important structure during the first incarnation of the Pacific Highway through the Canyon Creek Canyon in Southern Oregon. The bridge was located a few miles south of the town of Canyonville and served on the main north-south highway between the Willamette Valley to the north and the Sacramento Valley to the south in Northern California.

The Canyon Creek Bridge was a three span structure featuring a main 125-foot reinforced concrete open spandrel deck arch. The main arch span was flanked by two smaller reinforced concrete girder spans at each end. The bridge carried the Pacific Highway over Canyon Creek on an 18-foot roadway. The bridge featured many of what were standard details used during the era, such as balustrade railing and large yet hollow arch skewback piers. The bridge was designed by the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads and was constructed in 1921 by Stebbinger Brothers.

In 1945 the Oregon State Highway Department realigned U.S. 99 (Pacific Highway) through Canyon Creek Canyon. As part of the highway realignment the Canyon Creek Bridge was removed. The location of the bridge now sits under many feet of fill under what is now Interstate 5.

(Source: Highway Engineer and Contractor, Volume 5, Number 1, July 1921, pg-32)


Lost Open-spandrel arch bridge over Canyon Creek on Pacific Highway
Douglas County, Oregon
Built 1921, Removed 1950
- Stebbinger Bros. (Contractor)
Open spandrel reinforced concrete deck arch
Length of largest span: 125.0 ft.
Deck width: 18.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.91398, -123.26685   (decimal degrees)
42°54'50" N, 123°16'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/478219/4751297 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 49562 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 9, 2011: Added by Michael Goff



Canyon Creek Bridge
Posted June 2, 2021, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I was going through some roadway plans for this section of highway and did find a set showing the removal of this bridge. The plans were dated 1949, so the removal date was probably 1950 with the new culvert being completed in 1951 as Don stated.

I can not find plans for this bridge though, probably because is was designed by the Bureau of Public Roads and not the Oregon Highway Department.

This old structure has been a mystery to me as well, and I would like to get the the bottom of it someday.

Canyon Creek Bridge
Posted August 25, 2019, by Don Morrison

What the description is saying is that the bridge was removed and the site where it was located has been filled up to I-5 grade level. A culvert exists under all that fill for the creek.

I think this is the relevent info. Built 1951. I-5 seems to cross the creek several times though.


Unfortunately, concrete arches are hard to preserve unless they can be bypassed and left in place. Satellite imagery suggests that it was removed and the canyon filled as the description says.

Good luck on your bike trip, and be sure to correct the information here if you find anything different.

Canyon Creek Bridge
Posted August 24, 2019, by Kirk J. Poole (KJPPORTLAND [at] GMAIL [dot] COM)

I'm still searching for citations or references about the demise of this bridge. This article says it's been removed, and then also says it is buried under many feet of fill. I have seen the rubble dumps in top of the original highway. One dump is over 35 feet high.Same goes in 3 other spots up the canyon where ODOT willi-nilly dumped earthwork and asphalt material on the west side at several different ins and outs. Do you have any good sources where this information came from? I will be tracing the entire canyon on October 12, 2019. I'm buying a folding bike to ride over the sections that have been fenced off by ODOT or BLM. I've been poring over all these sections since I recieved my driver's license in 1979. Sort of a life's work for me. ANY help greatly appreciated.

Sincerely appreciated,

KIRK POOLE, SE Portland, Oregon