The Oregon Coast’s Beautiful Bridges

The Oregon Coast has some of the most beautiful bridges found anywhere. Most of them are older with railings of concrete. Since they are on the coast, they must accommodate boat and ship traffic. They either draw (up) or as in the case of the one at Reedsport, swing. It is fascinating to watch the process and see the ships go through.

It doesn’t seem like an imposition when we have to stop and wait for them. We park the vehicles, turn off the engines and get out in order to see more. My favorite is the one at Reedsport. Not because it’s beautiful—it is though there are prettier ones—-but because it was my first encounter with a swing bridge. It swings perpendicular to the road until the ship passes through and then keeps swinging around until it again becomes part of the road.

I got this night shot through the window. You can see the stop lights.


Because of their age and following the tragic Minnesota Mississippi River Bridge collapse in 2007, the Oregon Legislature decided to have extensive repairs done on all of the state’s bridges. There is one inland at Elkton—and maybe others—that was completely replaced. But most of them, because they are historic, were and still are being carefully repaired and restored. The process has improved bridge safety.

At North Bend/Coos Bay, the historic McCullough Memorial Bridge had badly deteriorating concrete guard rails. They found the original molds and replaced all of the old ones with brand new ones that are exactly the same. The work has taken years and some still goes on. Tragically one worker was found in the water during construction. No one knows exactly what happened.

This bridge is 5,305 ft across and spans the Coos Bay with panoramic views all the way across. Conde McCullough designed all of the 1920’s bridges on the Oregon Coast Highway 101.

The tallest bridge in Oregon is the Thomas Creek Bridge in Curry County and is within the boundaries of the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor (see previous blog on this site) on Highway 101. It is difficult to get photos of this bridge due to how it lays between landings and I don’t have one. But you can check it out on Wikipedia.

The longest bridge in Oregon is the Astoria-Megler Bridge (see previous blog on this site) and spans the Columbia River between Astoria, OR and Point Ellice near Megler, WA. It is 4.1 miles long and will sway in a good wind.

The world’s smallest port is at Depot Bay, Oregon on the coast. The bridge spans the mouth of Depot Bay on the south edge of town.

Newport, OR is one of our favorite, fun places to visit. I spent a weekend there a few years ago and snapped this photo of the Yaquina Bay Bridge from the bay side.

There are many more bridges in Oregon and more on the coast but we’ve hit the high spots here. In Florence, OR we have a master photographer in Ken McDougal ( Ken captures some of the most beautiful and spectacular coast photos we’ve ever seen. He was kind enough to permit us to use this one of the Siuslaw River Bridge, another bascule (or draw) bridge at Florence. Thanks, Ken!



8 thoughts on “The Oregon Coast’s Beautiful Bridges

  1. I looked up the Thos creek bridge…see that it’s at Brookings and yes have been over it……when driving up/down coast highway, just not in awhile. Very beautiful. Would love to make that trip again….. Love, P

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How interesting – and what a nice collection of photos and information. Thanks so much. This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast.

    On Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 8:47 PM, Adventures along the Umpqua River and the Oreg

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