I recall my fear of heights on Newport, Oregon’s Yaquina Bay Bridge

While visiting Newport and staying in a terrific condo on the Yaquina Bay – we had a great view of the graceful Yaquina Bay Bridge that frames the bay & the sky.  cc54

I had to get some pictures of this lovely span and forgot my fear of heights until I hit the bridge concrete columns.  The vehicle traffic screaming across the bridge made it even more special.  


Spanning the Bay, it is a great feature of US Highway 101 – designed by Conde McCullough & one of eleven major bridges on the Oregon Coast Highway designed by McCullough. It superseded the last ferry crossing on the highway.  McCullough also designed the Old Young’s Bay Bridge in Astoria, Oregon.


The native of South Dakota worked for the Oregon Department of Transportation from 1919 to 1935 and again in 1937 until 1946. McCullough also was a professor at Oregon State University.


Work on the Yaquina Bay Bridge began on August 1, 1934 & opened on September 6, 1936  at a cost of $1.3M.  220 people worked to pour 30,000 cubic yards (23,000 m³) of concrete and fabricate 3,100 tons of steel. The project received funding from the Public Work Administration.


The main span is a “semi-through arch” with the roadway penetrating the middle of the arch.

The intestine design features a main arch marked by tall obelisk-like concrete finials on the main piers, with smaller decorative elements marking the ends of the flanking span.  cc80

The bridge uses Art Deco & Art Moderne design motifs & forms borrowed from Gothic Architecture and seen in the balustrade with small pointed arches.


This is the spot where is recollected my fear of heights – and could only take a picture of this Art Deco column.  It provided a great support for me to lean against – and realize I had to get it together to get off of the damn bridge!

I did a fast walk off the span and was happy to see the terrific concrete stairs leading to the river.  The ends of the bridge are augmented by pedestrian plazas that afford a view of the bridge and provide access to the parks at the landings by stairways.

Aren’t these stairways a great detail?



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