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Lewis and Clark Bridge

Longview Bridge

Lewis and Clark Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 30, 2018

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
WA-433 Over Columbia River, Dike Road, and West Port Way
Location
Longview and Rainier: Cowlitz County, Washington and Columbia County, Oregon: United States
Structure Type
Metal Cantilever 29 Panel Rivet-Connected Modified Warren Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 10 Panel Rivet-Connected Warren Deck Truss, Fixed

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
2003
Main Span Length
1200 Feet (365.76 Meters)
Structure Length
5478 Feet (1669.69 Meters)
Roadway Width
34 Feet (10.36 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s) and 31 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
0003760A0000000

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

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

HAER Documentation, Washington Cantilever Bridges - Data Pages - Drawings

View Historic Bridge Inventory Sheet For This Bridge

View Historical Article About This Bridge

This enormous bridge is one of the longest historic cantilever truss spans surviving in the United States today, with a main span of 1,200 feet. At the time of completion, this was the longest cantilever truss span in the United States. The bridge is also a rare and highly significant example of a fixed (non-movable) bridge designed by famous engineer Joseph Strauss, whose main claim to fame was the design of bascule bridges. Note that Strauss was listed as the chief engineer for the Golden Gate Bridge, but he in fact did very little of the design work. Perhaps Strauss played a larger role in the design of this bridge, however. This bridge is highly significant due to its span length, but it also is noted for its unusual design details, including member sizing that differs from that found on other cantilever truss bridges. For example the diagonal members adjacent to the main vertical posts are heavier in design than the main post itself. The overall shape of the cantilever truss is somewhat unusual as well. Careful observers will also find the bridge's numerous unused holes that were used as temporary pin connections for assisting in the construction and erection of the bridge.

This bridge continues to carry heavy traffic with numerous trucks as well in an industrial setting. Despite this the bridge retains excellent historic integrity with no major alterations. The physical condition of the bridge also appears to be very good. Hopefully this will continue to be the case given the significance of the bridge.

Joseph Strauss proposed a bridge of similar design for Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario, but it was rejected, likely in part due to an unusual approach configuration.

The steel stringer approaches and bents at the north end of the bridge were reconstructed ca. 1950. The new bents still retain a traditional riveted design with lacing and so despite not being original they still math the design and appearance of the bridge. However, the pin and hanger details of the steel stringers are a typical 1950s construction practice.

Above: Historical photo showing bridge construction. Erection of the suspended span is in progress here.

Above: Historical mid-20th century photo of bridge.

Above: Historical photo of bridge.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Lewis and Clark Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
Overview and General Details
Original / Full Size Photos
Overview photos and details as seen from beside the bridge, including approach span details, and also the plaque and steel brand. 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
On-Bridge Main Span Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
Overview and detail photos documenting each section of the three main spans of the bridge, as seen from on 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
Overview and General Details
Mobile Optimized Photos
Overview photos and details as seen from beside the bridge, including approach span details, and also the plaque and steel brand. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
On-Bridge Main Span Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
Overview and detail photos documenting each section of the three main spans of the bridge, as seen from on the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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