Bridges

Latourell Creek Bridge drawing  

Functional and Artful Design

State Bridge Engineers C.H. Purcell, K.P. Billner and L.W. Metzger produced the innovative designs for the bridges built between Troutdale and Eagle Creek on the Columbia River Highway. Latourell Creek Bridge, shown in a drawing above, along with Shepperd's Dell Bridge and Moffett Creek Bridge, are worthy examples of their creativity. According to the Oregon Bridges Recording Project, "Latourell Bridge was the lightest reinforced concrete three-span deck arch on the highway. Shepperd's Dell is a deck arch design with a unique solid curtain wall above the center of the arch. Moffett Creek Bridge was the longest single span three-hinged deck arch in the United States in 1915." (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HAER ORE,26-PORT,11- (sheet 1 of 1))

Shepperd's Dell Bridge postcard

Shepperd’s Dell Bridge shown on a vintage postcard. (Oregon State Archives, Private Donation Postcards)

Shepperd's Dell Bridge

Shepperd's Dell Bridge in 2013. (Oregon State Archives, Scenic Image No. 20130925-D8C-4902)


Moffett Creek Bridge

Moffett Creek Bridge shown on a postcard. (Oregon Department of Transportation)

Moffett Creek Bridge drawing

A drawing of Moffett Creek Bridge. (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HAER ORE,26-PORT,11- (sheet 1 of 1))

The Conde McCullough Era


Mosier Creek Bridge drawing
In 1919, the State Highway Commission hired Conde B. McCullough to serve as the state bridge engineer. McCullough assumed the work of Sam Lancaster and followed the same inspiration to design bridges along the highway to complement the stunning scenic beauty of the Columbia River Gorge. McCullough designed three bridges that connected the highway to The Dalles. According to the Oregon Bridges Recording Project, the designs of the Mosier Creek and Dry Canyon bridges were influenced by the rib arch form of K.P. Billner's Shepperd's Dell Bridge. McCullough went on to design some of Oregon's most iconic bridges, including the Yaquina Bay Bridge at Newport, Coos Bay Bridge at North Bend and the Alsea Bay Bridge at Waldport. (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HAER ORE,26-PORT,11- (sheet 1 of 1))

Dry Canyon Creek Bridge drawing

A drawing of Dry Canyon Creek Bridge. (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HAER ORE,26-PORT,11- (sheet 1 of 1))

Dry Canyon Creek Bridge

Dry Canyon Creek Bridge. (Library of Congress, HAER ORE,33-ROW,1-2)


Mosier Creek Bridge

Mosier Creek Bridge in 2016. (Oregon State Archives, Scenic Image No. 20160316-9393)

Mill Creek Bridge drawing

A drawing of Mill Creek Bridge. (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HAER ORE,26-PORT,11- (sheet 1 of 1))


Credit

Most information on this page about Multnomah County and Wasco County bridges was adapted from the Oregon Bridges Recording Project, Historic American Engineering Record OR-56, National Park Service, Todd A. Croteau, Richard L. Koochagian, Gretchen Van Dusen, Rafael Villalobos, 1995.

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