19 June 2006

Recycled Bridge

This is the day the current Bunrside bridge opened in 1926, it replaced the first Burnside Bridge of 1894 which consisted of three spans, a fixed span on each end with a middle swing span.

The old Burnside wasn't just scrapped though, it was re-used. The larger of these two bridges below was one of the original spans over the Willamette, In 1926 it was dismantled and moved here to the Bull Run area, where Portland's drinking water comes from. That little guy beside it was there first, in 1893, built to carry the drinking water across the Sandy River and down into Portland.

This picture of the little ship's wheel shape is actually on from other span, a few miles up the road, but both bridges have this detail.

I'm not sure which one I like more. There's a lot of historical signifigance to the old Burnside, but I'm more in love with the concept of a bridge built to carry water across water. The Water Works bridge provided a clean and plentiful water supply to the city, the Burnside provided a major transportation link between the newly joined Portland and East Portland. Which was more important to the growth of the city? I don't know, but I do know the little bridge is cooler, just for those Victorian spikey things, oh, and its a bridge that carries water across water, did I mention that?
Read the whole story of Bull Run over at PDX History.


Nosmot said...

The little one is pimp, you're right. Thanks a lot, now I have to stop and see it sometime... arggh.

Oregarus said...

Hey JMD love the post. I have lived here since 99 and had no idea there was another bride before the present Burnside. For all the people I meet from here it seems like the biggest concern is not history (sans the MLK blvd story) it is getting the people that are from somewhere else to leave. Hrrumph!