The Oregon City Bridge is undergoing a huge restoration project. Many of our country’s bridges are in need of major repair and Portland is no exception. Some of your bridges are 100 years old and have had little done to them except for applying a band-aid fix. Now it’s either fix them properly or risk having them crumble under the weight of today’s large cars and trucks.
The bridge was designed by Conde B. McCullough, who was considered one of the top bridge engineers in the world. He designed more than 30 arched bridges in Oregon when few people traveled by car.
The bridge was built by the Oregon Department of Transportation and opened in 1922. It was built to replace an 1888 pedestrian suspension bridge. The piers were designed to hold public restrooms but were closed in 1937 because of repeated vandalism. In 2005 the bridge was added to the National register of Historic Places.
There was a 40% increase in traffic between 1953 and 2000 and thus the wear and tear increased. So in 2010 the bridge was taken out of service while it undergoes the restoration work. The deck, joints, rails, lighting and protective coating all need repair or replacement.