Florence in Lane County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Siuslaw River Bridge: Construction & Design
Constructing Over the Siuslaw
The Siuslaw River Bridge incorporates Art Deco, Moderne, Gothic, and Egyptian influence that were important to McCullough. Due to its ability to open at the center, the Siuslaw River Bridge best represents McCullough's artistic and technical ingenuity.
Construction on the Siuslaw River Bridge began on August 5, 1934, and cost a total of $527,068.67 to complete. Over 200,000 man-hours of labor were utilized during the 20 months of construction. On average, 140 men were employed 30 hours per week during construction. Single men could only work on this bridge project for six months, while married men could work on the project for up to two years. When the Siuslaw River Bridge opened on March 31, 1936, the local newspaper reported that construction had utilized "thousands of pounds of steel, millions of cement, and oodles of lumber."
When the Siuslaw River Bridge was being built, it was known for its precision workmanship. The south section was built first and then the north section. In the original specifications, 1 3/8 inches were allowed between the leaves of the bascule in the closed position. When it was first closed, that distance was only off by 1/72 of an inch!
Conde B. McCullough
The Man Behind the Bridge
McCullough was a bridge engineer and served as the State Bridge Engineer for the Oregon State Highway Department from 1919 to 1935. He served under President Franklin D. Roosevelt beginning in 1935 to consult on bridges in Central America as part of the Inter-American Highway System. When he returned to Oregon, McCullough became the state assistant highway engineer and served in that position until his death in 1946.
McCullough preferred to work with reinforced concrete and he pioneered numerous innovations in working with it. He is famous for his tied arch, also called the bowstring arch, which practically holds itself and does not require massive supports on either end.
Through his pioneering of unusual design and construction techniques, as well as his books and technical journals sharing what he learned, McCullough contributed to the greater knowledge of bridge engineering in principle and in practice.
Location. 43° 57.969′ N, 124° 6.521′ W. Marker is in Florence, Oregon, in Lane County. Marker can be reached from Bay Street east Click for map. Marker is part of the Siuslaw River Bridge Interpretive Center, located under the referenced bridge, overlooking the Bridge and the Siuslaw River, at the edge of the parking lot behind the shops at 1220 Bay Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1220 Bay Street, Florence OR 97439, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Florence: Industrial Beginnings (here, next to this marker); Navigating the Suislaw River (within shouting distance of this marker).
Also see . . .
1. Siuslaw River Bridge.
The Siuslaw River Bridge is a bascule bridge that spans the Siuslaw River on U.S. Route 101 in Florence, Oregon. It was designed by Conde McCullough, built by the Mercer-Fraser Company of Eureka, California, and funded by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works (later renamed the Public Works Administration). It opened in 1936. (Submitted on April 13, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Notable Oregonians: Conde McCullough - Bridge Engineer.
The pinnacle of McCullough’s career in Oregon was completion of five major bridges along the Oregon Coast Highway in 1936—the Yaquina Bay Bridge at Newport, the Alsea Bay Bridge at Waldport, the Siuslaw River Bridge at Florence, the Umpqua River Bridge at Reedsport, and the Coos Bay Bridge (Submitted on April 13, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Siuslaw River Bridge Interpretive Center Open to the Public.
More than a decade after it was first proposed, the Siuslaw River Bridge Interpretive Center has finally becoming a reality. (Submitted on April 13, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
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