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Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge

Coos Bay Bridge

Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 1, 2018

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Oregon Coast Highway (US-101) Over Coos Bay
Location
North Bend: Coos County, Oregon: United States
Structure Type
Metal Cantilever 26 Panel Rivet-Connected Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete Open Spandrel Deck Arch, Fixed

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
2018
Main Span Length
793 Feet (242 Meters)
Structure Length
5,323 Feet (1,622 Meters)
Roadway Width
27 Feet (8.23 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s) and 27 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
1823

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

Latest news about this bridge: As of 2018, this bridge had received an extensive rehabilitation of its concrete arch spans. In 2019, a three year project to repaint the bridge will take place.

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View Historic Bridge Inventory Sheet For This Bridge

View National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form For This Bridge

HAER Documentation, Oregon Coast Highway Bridges - Data Pages - Drawings

The Oregon Coast Highway is the name given to US-101 as it follows the Pacific coastline in Oregon. This highway is significant for its numerous historic bridges, including a number of unique design. Also noteworthy is the effort made to preserve and maintain these unique bridges, many of which are very impressive structures designed by noted engineer Conde McCullough.

The 1936 Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge over Coos Bay was named after the engineer who designed this and so many of the Oregon Coast Highway Bridges. One of the most significant bridges in Oregon, this unique bridge consists of numerous open spandrel concrete arch approach spans and a steel riveted cantilever through truss for the main spans. McCullough was a strong supporter of concrete bridges, and often resorted to use of steel only when the crossing needs dictated it. That said, McCullough's approach to steel bridge construction is both unique and impressive. Despite being built in a time where bridges often had built-up beams with lacing and lattice on the members, this bridge was built of solid steel members, drawing the eye to the appearance of the bridge as a whole, rather than detailed built-up parts of the bridge. Where built-up members were used, cover plate was pierced with diamond-shaped handholes, a unique and more attractive approach to the oval-shaped handholes which started to be used in bridge construction in the late 1930s. The top and bottom chords of the truss offer an unusually curve-like and graceful appearance that differs from typical cantilever truss bridges. The portal bracing for the bridge is a work of art in its own right, with a unique and highly decorative design. The abutments of the bridge include beautiful stairways for pedestrian traffic.

Virginia Bridge and Iron Company of Roanoke, Virginia was the general contractor for the bridge. The American Bridge Company of New York fabricated the steel for the bridge. Assisting Conde B. McCullough in the design of the bridge was Dexter R. Smith, a design engineer for the approach spans and Raymond Archibald, a design engineer for the truss spans. The cantilever truss spans total 1,708 feet in length, including two 457.5 foot anchor spans and the central span of 793 feet. The truss arrangement of the bridge is unusual in that some of the truss panels follow a Baltimore style truss configuration, while other panels follow a Pratt-like configuration.

Thanks to McCullough, this bridge is a unique design which has no equal in Oregon or anywhere else.

Above: Conde McCullough

Above: Historical photo showing construction of the truss spans showing a segment of the top chord being moved into place.

Above: Historical photo showing construction truss spans, with the cantilever arm erection in progress.

Above: Historical photo showing construction of the arch spans, with the arch centering visible to the right.

Above: Historical photo showing construction of the arch spans. Here, the span shown has had the centering removed.

Above: Historical photo showing bridge construction.

Above: Conde McCullough

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
Overview and General Details
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge, and general details of the bridge. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Truss Details
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the truss spans of this bridge. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Overview and General Details
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge, and general details of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Truss Details
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the truss spans of this bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Video
Conde McCullough Documentary
Full Motion Video
Produced by Oregon Department of Transportation, this is a short seven minute documentary about Conde McCullough. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.

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Maps and Links: Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge

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