2 votes

PNWR - Calapooia River Bridge


P.N.W.R. - Calapooia River Bridge

Photo taken by Michael Goff in October 2010


BH Photo #185229

Street Views 


Through truss bridge over Calapooia River on Portland and Western Railroad (PNWR) in Albany
Albany, Linn County, Oregon
Open to traffic
Built in 1908 by the Oregon Electric Railroad
- Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W)
- Oregon Electric Railway (OER)
- Portland & Western Railroad (PNWR)
- Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway (SPS)
The Calapooia River Bridge is a pinned connected through truss. The bridge features from north to south a 250-foot through truss, a 440-foot timber approach trestle, an 80-foot plate girder, and finally another 1202-foot timber approach trestle. The bridge crosses the Calapooia River twice ending up on the same side of the river in which it started. The total length of the structure is about 2000-feet.
Length of largest span: 250.0 ft.
Total length: 1,972.0 ft.
Deck width: 15.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.63607, -123.11210   (decimal degrees)
44°38'10" N, 123°06'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/491108/4942529 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 44246 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 4, 2013: New Street View added by Mike Goff
  • February 25, 2010: Added by Michael Goff


  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com


PNWR - Calapooia River Bridge
Posted November 15, 2018, by Luke

"A contract will be awarded to cover the replacing of timber structures with steel spans across the Calapooia river, on the Oregon Electric, at Albany, Ore., at an estimated cost of $90,000. The filling of a timber bridge and placing a reinforced ..."

Excerpted from https://books.google.com/books?id=EY0lAAAAMAAJ&q=Oregon%20el...



Says a G&W/PNWR PR guy sais it's late 1800s, but a commentor says there's a 1908 cutout on the upper part of the bridge.

PNWR - Calapooia River Bridge
Posted November 15, 2018, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I know nothing about this structure, I believe when I first added this bridge it was listed with an unknown build date. Then Charles posted something about the 1908 build date which was incorporated into the listing.

I would agree that the truss details are more consistent with something pre-1900. My guess is that the truss was moved to this location in 1908 from somewhere else in the country.

Most rail trusses in the northwest prior to 1900 were timber trusses built in the 1880's and 90's. My guess is the timber decayed away in 20 to 30 years and recycled trusses were brought in to replace the timber. There are plenty of examples of this practice around Oregon.

PNWR - Calapooia River Bridge
Posted November 15, 2018, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I agree that the portals and the pin connections indicate an older bridge, however I havenít seen a subdivided Warren thatís pin connected before this. I would think if it was an 1880s bridge, it probably wouldíve been built as a whipple. Perhaps this one was built in the 1890s and moved here? Relocation was quite common on railroads, especially former main line spans that had life left in them.

PNWR - Calapooia River Bridge
Posted November 14, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Does anyone else think that this bridge's pin-connected trusses and their subdivided, modified Warren truss are a little elaborate for a 1908 bridge? I'm wondering if this is a bridge relocated here in 1908. Cannot find any info online. I don't recall ever seeing a pin-connected Warren truss of any variety on a railroad that wasn't pre-1900. Most are 1880s.

P.N.W.R. - Calapooia River Bridge
Posted October 25, 2011, by Michael Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I have fixed the mix-up with the railroad that built the bridge.

P.N.W.R. - Calapooia River Bridge
Posted October 25, 2011, by Charles Bonville (chabonor [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This page specifies the bridge was built in 1908 by Southern Pacific Railroad. This cannot be correct as this railroad line has never been owned by Southern Pacific. This railroad line was built by the Oregon Electric Railroad, which competed with Southern Pacific for the movement of passengers and freight between Eugene, Oregon and Portland, Oregon. The Oregon Electric ceased passenger services circa 1933, and was later acquired by the Seattle, Portland & Spokane RR, which was acquired by Burlington Northern RR. BNSF still owns the line today, and has leased it to PNWR since circa 2000.