3 votes

UP - Willamette River Bridge


Union Street Railroad Bridge

Photo taken by Michael Goff on July 16, 2009


BH Photo #143098

Street View 


Pratt through truss bridge over Willamette River on Pedestrian/Bicycle trail (former Union Pacific Railroad) in Salem
Salem, Marion County, Oregon, and Polk County, Oregon
Open to pedestrians
Built 1913 by Southern Pacific Railroad, 2008 Converted for pedestrian use
- Carter & Co. of Salem, Oregon (Rehab. Contractor)
- HDR, Inc. of Omaha, Nebaraska (Rehab. Consulting Engineers)
- Waddell & Harrington of Kansas City, Missouri (Design Engineers)
- Salem, Falls City & Western Railroad (SFC&W)
- Southern Pacific Railroad (SP)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
The Union Street Railroad Bridge is a vertical lift, Pratt through truss bridge. The bridge has two towers that rise an additional 65 feet above the 35-foot tall structure of the bridge's trusses, a 134-foot-long center lift span, and a total length of 722 feet, excluding the 850-foot timber trestle on the western end. The bridge's five spans sit atop five concrete piers designed to rise 35 feet above mean low water, which was intended to hold the rails 5 feet above the highest possible flood waters. The lift span was designed to provide a 55-foot clearance during high water conditions. The lift span has been inoperable since 1980.
Regular service of passenger and freight trains ended in 1945. The date of the last train to cross the bridge is unknown but is believed to be in the early 1990s. The City of Salem acquired the bridge in 2003 from the Union Pacific Railroad (which absorbed Southern Pacific in 1996) for one dollar. The railroad set up a $550,000 fund for maintenance. A $3.2 million renovation and conversion project transformed it into a bicycle and pedestrian bridge linking Riverfront Park and downtown Salem on the east with Wallace Marine Park and West Salem on the west. The bridge reopened in April 2009.
(Wikipedia Article)
Length of largest span: 134.0 ft.
Total length: 1,572.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 11, 2006
Also called
Willamette River Bridge
Salem Railroad Bridge
SP - Willamette River Bridge
Union Street Railroad Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.94692, -123.04134   (decimal degrees)
44°56'49" N, 123°02'29" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/496738/4977054 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory numbers
NRHP 05001520 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 43045 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 6, 2022: New photos from Dave King
  • May 15, 2022: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • October 26, 2018: New Street View added by Luke
  • October 26, 2018: New photos from Mike Goff
  • April 7, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • March 14, 2018: New Street View added by Leslie R Trick
  • September 19, 2016: New photos from Dave King
  • June 12, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added categories "Riveted", "Preserved"
  • January 19, 2016: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • December 10, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • March 12, 2014: Updated by Dave King: Added NRHP # & imported photos
  • August 28, 2013: New photos from Douglas Butler
  • January 9, 2012: New photos from Michael Goff
  • April 25, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • July 21, 2009: Added by Michael Goff

Related Bridges 


  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Wikipedia - Union Street Railroad Bridge
  • Nathan Holth
  • Douglas Butler
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Leslie R Trick - Leslie [dot] Trick [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Richard Doody
  • Luke
  • Geoff Hubbs