Friday, October 03, 2008

Oswego Creek Bridge

Oswego Creek Bridge

Oswego Creek Bridge


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Ok, time for another bridge. This time we're looking at Lake Oswego's Oswego Creek Bridge, which carries Highway 43 ( == Macadam Ave. ) over, uh, Oswego Creek. I don't bother with bridges over mere creeks unless the bridge is especially unusual or interesting somehow. The previous one was a (sorta) covered bridge. This one is a 1930-vintage Conde McCullough bridge... I think.

Oswego Creek Bridge

It's taken me a while to post this, because there's a bit of a mystery going on. If you look at the Bridgehunter & Structurae pages for the bridge, or this old photo from the City of Lake Oswego, the bridge you see there doesn't look quite like my photos. At first I thought maybe I'd gone to the wrong bridge, but that didn't seem possible. Then I thought maybe the bridge had been replaced in recent years, since the photo shown there is dated 1991. Although in that case you'd think there'd be some mention of the fact somewhere, and there isn't.

Oswego Creek Bridge

This painting of the bridge might explain what's going on. Assuming the artist didn't take extreme liberties, it sure looks like the bridge was widened at some point, so that the northbound lanes are old, and the soutbound ones are new, and I just happened to be on the southbound side. The bridge railing looks kind of old, much older than the visible supports, so I expect they either reused the original, or made a new one to match the other side. If that's what's really going on here, I mean; I haven't seen the other side, so I don't know for sure. I suppose I could go back and take another look or something. And while I'm at it, maybe try to take some better photos than the ones you see here, which I'm not entirely pleased with.

Anyway, I think that's what's going on here. If it turns out that I'm totally off base, I can always go back and rewrite this post if I have to. Or even delete it, if it comes to that.

Oswego Creek Bridge

If it turns out this is another McCullough bridge (which is pretty much the only reason I came to check it out), that brings us to at least 3 in the Portland area, even though sources often claim the Oregon City Bridge is the only bridge of his anywhere in town. But the McLoughlin Bridge and this one appear to be his too, and I've read that he designed a couple of Hwy 99 bridges nearby (over the Tualatin River near Tualatin, and over the N. Yamhill near McMinnville). So there may be at least 5, depending on how you define "Portland area".

Oswego Creek Bridge

The obligatory "not dying" angle, this time: Take care to not crane your neck out too far while looking for the damn bridge arches that aren't there, thereby losing your balance, falling off, and plummeting to an untimely demise somewhere in the ravine far below. Also, don't learn the hard way that the bridge is probably not quite high enough for bungee jumping (or base jumping, for that matter), and the creek isn't anywhere near deep enough to dive into from the bridge. Not that I expect people to listen to little ol' me out here on the Interwebs if they're inclined to try any of that stuff. But hey. Whatever.

Oswego Creek Bridge

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