Designed in 1913-14 by Waddell & Harrington, the direct predecessor firm to Hardesty & Hanover, this important bridge spans between Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. The bridge, which features a 275-foot vertical lift span, was constructed by the American Bridge Company, Porter Brothers, and the Pacific Bridge Company starting in March 1915 and was completed in February 1917 at the cost of $1.7M.
This exceptionally long 13-span bridge was built on deep pile piers and replaced a ferry system that was deemed insufficient to support the commerce between the two states. Construction began in 1915 following the issuance of bonds to pay for the bridge. At a total length of 3,500 feet, it was one of the longest bridges ever built at that time and remains today one of the longest bridges ever designed by the firm.
The bridge originally collected a five-cent toll and paid its bondholders back through that revenue within 12 years. The bridge originally carried streetcars as well as automobile traffic. It became part of the newly constructed I-5 Interstate Highway system in 1957. The ADT for this important interstate river crossing is over 138,000.
The Columbia River Insterstate Bridge profile is part of H&H’s on-going celebration of our heritage as we approach our 135th Anniversary.