Fremont Bridge (Portland)

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Fremont Bridge
FremontBridgePano.jpg
Official name Fremont Bridge
Carries I‑405 / US 30
Crosses Willamette River and surface streets
Locale Portland, Oregon
Maintained by ODOT
ID number 02529
Design Tied-arch bridge
Total length 2,154 ft (656.5 m)
Longest span 1,255 ft (382.5 m)
longest in Oregon
Vertical clearance 18.3 ft (5.58 m)
Clearance below 175 ft (53.3 m)
Opened November 15, 1973[1]
Coordinates 45°32′16″N 122°40′57″W / 45.5377083°N 122.6825027°W / 45.5377083; -122.6825027Coordinates: 45°32′16″N 122°40′57″W / 45.5377083°N 122.6825027°W / 45.5377083; -122.6825027
Fremont Bridge (Portland) is located in Oregon
Fremont Bridge (Portland)

The Fremont Bridge is a steel tied-arch bridge over the Willamette River located in Portland, Oregon. It carries Interstate 405 and US 30 traffic between downtown and North Portland where it intersects with I-5. It has the longest main span of any bridge in Oregon and is the second longest tied-arch bridge in the world (after Caiyuanba Bridge across the Yangtze River, China).[2]

The bridge has two decks carrying vehicular traffic, each with four lanes. The upper deck is signed westbound on US 30 and southbound on I-405. The lower deck is signed eastbound on US 30 and northbound on I-405.

Design and construction[edit]

Due to the public's dissatisfaction with the appearance of the Marquam Bridge, the Portland Art Commission was invited to participate in the design process of the Fremont. The improvement in visual quality resulted in a bridge that was nearly six times as expensive as the purposely-economical Marquam Bridge. Designers modeled the bridge after the Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In October 1971, while still under construction, a crack was found on the west span girder that required a $5.5 million redesign and repair. The main span of the bridge was built in California then assembled at Swan Island, 1.7 miles (2.7 km) downstream.[2] After completion it was floated into place on a barge.

On March 16, 1973, the 6,000-ton steel arch span was lifted 170 ft (52 m) using 32 hydraulic jacks. At the time, it was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the heaviest lift ever completed.[3] The bridge was opened on November 15, 1973,[1][2] at a final cost of $82 million,[2] most of which was financed by the Federal Highway Administration.

In 1976, an American flag and an Oregon flag were added atop the structure as part of the bicentennial celebration for the United States.[4] The 15-by-25-foot (4.6 m × 7.6 m) flags are attached to 50-foot (15 m) tall flagpoles at the crest of the arches.[4]

Falcon nest[edit]

The Fremont Bridge was also the 26th Peregrine falcon nest site designated in Oregon in 1995 after the raptor was placed on the U.S. Threatened and Endangered Species list in 1970.[5]

Etymology[edit]

The bridge as well as Portland's associated Fremont Street were named for John C. Fremont (1813–1890). Fremont was an early explorer of the Oregon Country. He served in the United States Army at the time as a captain and later promoted to general. In 1856, he ran for president, but was defeated by James Buchanan.[6]

Gallery[edit]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Fremont Bridge opens with wheeze". The Oregonian, November 16, 1973, p. 22.
  2. ^ a b c d Wood, Sharon; Wortman, Ed (2006). The Portland Bridge Book (3rd Edition). Urban Adventure Press. pp. 23–30. ISBN 0-9787365-1-6. 
  3. ^ Smith, Dwight A. (1989). Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon. Oregon Historical Society Press. p. 300. ISBN 0-87595-205-4. 
  4. ^ a b “News Q&A”, The Oregonian, May 1, 2005.
  5. ^ "Fremont Bridge Peregrines: A Decade of Successful Nesting". Audubon Society of Portland. Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  6. ^ Snyder, Eugene E.. Portland Names and Neighborhoods: Their Historic Origin. Portland: Binford & Mort, 1979. p.133.

External links[edit]