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
Conde B. McCullough
The Man Behind the Bridge
Conde B. McCullough designed the Siuslaw River Bridge, along with four others, as part of the Coast Bridge Project. His bridges were designed to be efficient, economical, and elegant. Today, McCullough's bridges are icons of the Oregon coast.
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.
Topics. Bridges & Viaducts • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels.
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 of Kingwood Street, on the right when traveling east. 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. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1220 Bay Street, Florence OR 97439, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Florence: Industrial Beginnings (here, next to this marker); Navigating the Siuslaw River (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Historic Old Town (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Siuslaw River Bridge (about 300 feet away); Mapleton Depot (about 300 feet away); Harbor Theater (about 800 feet away); Technology Spans (approx. 11.6 miles away); Heceta Head Lightstation (approx. 11.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florence.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to 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 at Marshfield/North Bend. (Submitted on April 13, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 13, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 291 times since then and 21 times this year. Last updated on January 31, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 13, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 6, 7. submitted on April 14, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 8. submitted on April 23, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 9. submitted on April 14, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 10. submitted on April 23, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 11. submitted on April 13, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 12. submitted on April 23, 2016, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.