8 votes

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge


BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge

Side elevation from the east.

Photo taken by Mike Goff in January 2014


BH Photo #273601

Street View 


Rich Clark via Facebook

Play video


This bridge is nationally significant as the only remaining example of its kind in the United States, displaying the unique patented design that Strauss developed. This type of vertical lift bridge avoids the use of traditional towers and cables. The only other currently known example of this type is located in Prince George, British Columbia. Information from NPRHA.org Online Collection


Vertical lift bridge over Chambers Bay on BNSF Railway
Pierce County, Washington
Open to traffic
Originally built 1913-1914, Girders added 1937
- Strauss Bascule Bridge Co. of Chicago, Illinois
- Amtrak (AMTK)
- Amtrak Cascades
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
- Burlington Northern Railroad (BN)
- Northern Pacific Railway (NP)
Strauss patent direct-lift vertical lift bridge, pony truss.
Length of largest span: 97.0 ft.
Total length: 248.0 ft.
Also called
Bridge 14
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.18711, -122.58409   (decimal degrees)
47°11'14" N, 122°35'03" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/531509/5226040 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 46496 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 31, 2021: New photos from Geoff Hubbs
  • April 21, 2018: New photo from Leslie R trick
  • June 13, 2017: New video from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • January 29, 2014: New photos from Mike Goff
  • October 8, 2013: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • August 15, 2013: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • December 3, 2010: New Street View added by Cliff Darby
  • December 2, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added Builder, Additional Info, Statement of Significance


  • K. A. Erickson
  • Nathan Holth
  • Information about this bridge. - From oil-electric.com
  • Cliff Darby - cliffsta1987 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Douglas Butler
  • Flickr - Truss detail.
  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • Leslie R Trick - Leslie [dot] Trick [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Geoff Hubbs


BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted January 31, 2021, by Byron Miller (iluvspam6 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I..I...I... I have never seen such a thing!!!!!!!!!!! That was spectacular! Thank you kindly for the video, sir.

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted July 5, 2017, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

An Amtrak train derailed at this bridge on July 2, causing no serious injuries. Officials suspect a last-resort derail switch that is supposed to stop a train from advancing if the bridge is open. Article: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/did-...

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted January 31, 2014, by K. A. Erickson

Mike and Nathan, whenever you are in the area we should meet, compare notes ...

It looks like the images were taken last week.

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted January 31, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

You could always rent a sail boat, then they would have to raise the bridge for you!

BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted January 30, 2014, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)


Your assesment is correct. You would need a boat or BNSF permissions to get any closer to the structure. I am planning on taking my kayak the next time I am in the area. I would like to get some close up shots of the lift mechanics.



BNSF - Chambers Bay Bridge
Posted January 30, 2014, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


Were you able to get any additional angles of this bridge? I have not visited the bridge, but researched it, and it looked like the angle you added to this page was the only angle that would be easy to get without trespassing or use of a boat. Can I assume that your experience confirmed this theory?

Chambers Bay Railroad Bridge
Posted December 3, 2010, by Robert Thompson

What an amazing piece of machinery! It certainly trumps concrete culverts in Kansas.

Chambers Bay Railroad Bridge
Posted December 2, 2010, by Spanfan (susorcar [at] yahoo [dot] com)

FYI-there's an interesting article on the bridge on the website, "oil-electric.com" under the June 2, 2009 blog date. Compares the cable-lift bridge with several other non-cable vertical-lift bridges.