Burnside Bridge

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For the bridge in the American Civil War Battle of Antietam, see Burnside's Bridge.
Burnside Bridge
BurnsideBridge.jpg
Crosses Willamette River
Locale Portland, Oregon
Maintained by Multnomah County
ID number 02757
Designer Ira G. Hedrick;
Robert E. Kremers
Design Double-leaf "Strauss-type" bascule
Total length 1,382 ft (421 m)
Width 73.8 ft (22.5 m)
Longest span Fixed: 268 ft (82 m)[1]
Double-leaf bascule: 252 ft (77 m)[1][2]
Clearance below 64 ft (20 m) closed
Opened

May 28, 1926
(replaced 1894 bridge)

Burnside Bridge
Location Portland, Oregon; Willamette River at river mile 12.7
Coordinates 45°31′23″N 122°40′03″W / 45.52309°N 122.66740°W / 45.52309; -122.66740Coordinates: 45°31′23″N 122°40′03″W / 45.52309°N 122.66740°W / 45.52309; -122.66740
MPS Willamette River Highway Bridges of Portland, Oregon
NRHP Reference # 12000931[3]
Added to NRHP November 14, 2012[3]

The Burnside Bridge is a 1926-built bascule bridge that spans the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, United States, carrying Burnside Street. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in November 2012.[3][4]

Design[edit]

The bridge was designed by Ira G. Hedrick[5] and Robert E. Kremers, incorporating a bascule lift mechanism designed by Joseph Strauss.[2]

The bridge almost fully opened

Including approaches, the Burnside has a total length of 2,308 ft (703 m) and a 251 ft (77 m) center span. While lowered this span is normally 64 ft (20 m) above the river. The deck is made of concrete, which contributes to its being one of the heaviest bascule bridges in the United States.[2] The counterweights, housed inside the two piers, weigh 1,700 short tons (1,518 long tons; 1,542 t). The lifting is normally controlled by the Hawthorne Bridge operator, but an operator staffs the west tower during high river levels.

The bridge provides shelter for the initially unauthorized Burnside Skatepark under the east end.[6] On weekends, the Portland Saturday Market was held mostly under the bridge's west end for many years. The market was reoriented in 2009, but the Burnside Bridge continues to provide shelter for a few vendor stalls at the market's northern end.

History[edit]

In 1891, Burnside Street was renamed from "B" street to take the name of Dan Wyman Burnside, a local businessman who was a proponent of the 1866 dredging of the Willamette River.[2] The original Burnside Bridge was a swing span bridge that opened in 1894.

The replacement was part of a $4.5 million bond that also included the construction of the Ross Island and Sellwood bridges. The public would later learn that the contract was given for $500,000 more than the lowest bid. Three Multnomah County commissioners were recalled as a result of the scandal, and a new engineering company assumed control of the project.

One of the bridge's two ornate towers

The bridge opened on May 28, 1926 at a final cost of $4.5 million (including approaches). It is the only Willamette River bridge in Portland that was designed with input from an architect.[1] This led to the Italian Renaissance towers and decorative metal railings. The bascule system was designed by Joseph Strauss. The initial principal engineer for the bridge construction was the firm of Hedrick & Kremers. The bridge was then completed by Gustav Lindenthal,[7] who also supervised its construction.[2]

Streetcars crossed the Burnside Bridge until 1950,[8] and electric trolleybuses serving the Sandy Blvd. route did so from 1936 to 1958.[9] Currently, three TriMet bus routes use the bridge.

In the 1990s the Burnside Bridge was made a Regional Emergency Transportation Route, the one non-freeway bridge to be used by emergency vehicles. In 1995 one of the six lanes was removed to accommodate new bicycle lanes. From March until November 2002 the bridge went through a $2.1 million seismic retrofit, making it the first bridge operated by Multnomah County to receive earthquake protection.

The bridge was under construction in 2006 in order to replace the deck.[10] The electric streetcar tracks, abandoned in 1950, were visible during the construction. This project was budgeted at $9 million and the majority of the work was completed on December 9, 2007.[11][12] The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places[13] in November 2012.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Burnside Bridge". Multnomah County. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wood Wortman, Sharon; Wortman, Ed (2006). The Portland Bridge Book (3rd Edition). Urban Adventure Press. pp. 45–52. ISBN 0-9787365-1-6. 
  3. ^ a b c "Weekly list of actions taken on properties: 11/13/12 through 11/16/12". National Park Service. November 23, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Tims, Dana (November 21, 2012). "Four Multnomah County bridges listed on National Register of Historic Places". The Oregonian. p. B1. Retrieved October 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ Ira Grant Hedrick, Designer of Bridges; Built the Burnside Lift Span at Portland, Ore.-Firm Did Work in Mexico-Dies at 69. The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Portland's Burnside Skatepark". Dreamland Skateparks. Retrieved 2006-11-05. 
  7. ^ Smith, Dwight A.; Norman, James B.; Dykman, Pieter T. (1989). Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon. Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 118. ISBN 0-87595-205-4. 
  8. ^ Hatch, Tom (February 27, 1980). "End of lines 30 years ago: New 'trolleys' can't beat old ones". The Oregonian.
  9. ^ Sebree, Mac; and Ward, Paul (1974). The Trolley Coach in North America (Interurbans Special 59). Los Angeles: Interurbans. LCCN 74-20367.
  10. ^ "Burnside Bridge Span Rehabilitation". City of Portland. Retrieved 2006-10-05. 
  11. ^ Redden, Jim (December 13, 2005). "County gears up to do bridge work". Portland Tribune. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Burnside Bridge Lift Span Rehabilitation". Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  13. ^ Harden, Kevin (November 20, 2012). "Four downtown bridges earn historic honors". Portland Tribune. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 

External links[edit]