Monday, July 11, 2016

'Pacific Highway Interstate Bridge', Portland, Oregon

The Interstate Bridge (also called the Columbia River Interstate Bridge, I-5 Bridge, Portland-Vancouver Interstate Bridge, Vancouver-Portland Bridge) was opened to traffic in 1917 as a single 3,538 ft (1,078 metre) long bridge carrying two-way traffic.

A second, twin bridge opened in 1958 with each bridge carrying one-way traffic. The original 1917 structure is the northbound bridge. They are a pair of nearly identical steel vertical-lift, "Parker type" through-truss bridges.

Electric streetcars operated across the bridge from opening day in 1917 until 1940. The bridge's deck carried dual gauge track to accommodate both Vancouver's standard gauge cars and Portland's 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge cars. Before the bridge, Portland had had a Vancouver streetcar line since 1893, but it ran to Hayden Island, where passengers transferred to a ferry owned by the street railway company to continue across the river to Vancouver. Streetcar service across the Interstate Bridge ended on September 3, 1940.

The bridge became part of then-new Interstate 5 in 1957.

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