Everybody I know calls it the Coos Bay Bridge, even though it was renamed in honor of Mr. McCullough back in 1947. The man designed some very beautiful bridges. Sadly, the bridges are reaching the end of their lifespans because, especially on coastal highway, the rusting and expanding metal rebar inside the concrete supports have been causing the concrete to crack and split. ODOT has been forced to engage in heroic efforts to try to restore and rehabilitate some of Conde's bridges, including experimental methods of running electrical currents through the rebar to slow or stop corrosion, and I understand that in many cases the restoration efforts cost many more times the original cost of the bridge. The Alsea Bay bridge was too far gone to be saved and was replaced by a modern structure built in a style similar to the original, and near here at Klamath Falls, there were two Conde McCollough bridges. The one at Spring Creek was replaced by a larger bridge of similar design to the original, while the OC&E overpass was replaced by a new bridge, which was supposed to have railings designed to match the original but due to cost concerns, this promise was not fulfilled.
I love what I saw when my wife and I drove over that bridge. They are fixing/replacing the railings with authentic reproductions of the cathedral style railings. This is the bridge that will outlive all the other coastal bridges. Thank you to ODOT for the preservation efforts here!
Elegant Arches,Soaring Spans is a really informative book and is a super memorial to a man who gave us such artwork in his engineering that he deserves a place in history,and this bridge is a wonderful memorial to him as well.
I have a cousin who has family in this area,and I will ask her to send me pictures.
Oregon isn't perfect with their historic bridges, but we take care of them better than many states.
Michael Goff's photography and work here documenting Oregon's bridges is AMAZING. Thank you for bringing so many of these places to life for everyone.
A thing of beauty....Indeed!
The Conde B. McCullough Bridge is named in honor of the lead engineer. There are a couple of reasons for this...
1.The McCullough Legacy:
C.B. McCullough was the state bridge engineer for Oregon from 1919 to 1935. Under his watch many of the key spans on Oregon early highways were designed and constructed. His philosophy to bridge design was to make the structure fit the site in which it was being built, have the bridge be cost effective, and finally he emphasized building structures that were pleasing to the eye.
McCullough assisted in pioneering different design and construction methods in concrete arch construction, along with building a solid reputation for the Oregon Highway Department. The legacy he left still lives in the design and maintenance of Oregon Bridges (with the notable acceptation of the interstate system). Oregon is one of the leaders in historic bridge preservation along with creating innovative and eye pleasing structures to replace aging structures.
The Coos Bay crossing was the last and largest bridge McCullough designed while the state bridge engineer. The bridge also completed the Oregon portion of the Pacific Coast Highway. He accepted a post in Central America designing bridges on the Pan-American Highway in 1935 and had to leave the Oregon Highway Department.
There is a great book written by Robert Hadlow called
"Elegant Arches, Soaring Spans"
It is a biography about Conde McCullough, and the bridges he worked on.
I am impressed with how well Oregon takes care of their historic bridges. Many are shown in this website as being primarily in awsome shape. My homestate chooses the cutting torch then pouring concrete later instead of saving historic bridges. What a shame.
What a beautiful structure - I love the Art Deco details included. How did the lead designer and the bridge happen to have the same name?