Bridges of the Oregon Coast
by Ray Bottenberg, published 2006, Arcadia Publishing.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Oregon’s legendary bridge engineer Conde B. McCullough designed a series of bridges on the Oregon Coast Highway. The six largest of these, at Gold Beach, Newport, Waldport, Florence, Reedsport, and Coos Bay, eliminated the last ferries on the Oregon Coast Highway between the Columbia River and California.
Intended to enhance an already dramatic and beautiful landscape, as well as connect Oregon’s coastal cities by direct, any-time highways (the ferries ran on schedules designed around tides and sometimes shut down in inclement weather), McCullough planned to build one bridge each year after completion of the Rogue River Bridge at Gold Beach in 1932. However the tightened financial environment of the Depression threatened his plans. In 1933, McCullough and his staff worked day and night to finish plans for the remaining five bridges, and in early 1934, the Public Works Administration funded simultaneous construction of them. The combined projects provided approximately 630 jobs, but at least six workers perished during construction. After the bridges were complete, Oregon coast tourism increased by a dramatic 72 percent in the first year.
In 2007 we decided to make the drive on the Oregon coast, border-to-border, and as we did we crossed each of these bridges. I bought the book and took it on the trip, reading about each of the six bridges as we approached it.
The book is one of the Images of America series, published by Arcadia Publishing.