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.
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
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
Search For Additional Bridge Listings:
© Copyright 2003-2022, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.