We'll end the discussion of historic preservation with a controversial one: the demolition of the 1918 Hood River Bridge in 1982. The bridge was part of the original Columbia River Highway. Here's a nice view of it in its heyday.
It's a shame we lost this historic bridge, though ODOT photos from the period document extensive decay throughout the structure. 64 years is a respectable life for a reinforced concrete bridge, and certainly the replacement was a big improvement in function. If I can make an editorial comment, I think the problem is less the removal of the obsolete structure, and more that the replacement was completely lacking in any ornament or reference to its important historical context. A bridge on the Columbia River Highway connecting to an historic downtown and crossing an important river should feel a little different than your average freeway entrance ramp.
It's interesting to note the "new" 1982 bridge has now been around for half the lifespan of the 1918 bridge. I wonder when we start discussing its replacement?
A few details you can see in this image: at some point in the old bridge's history the iconic lighting was removed, and a pedestrian walkway was cantilevered onto the original structure.
Photo courtesy of ODOT.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
I guess and only that, is that the new bridge's material was far superior to the other one. I would think a close eye by inspectors would help in the lasting ability of the newer one.
charlott on 5th February 2015 @ 7:11am
The only thing new in the world is history we don't know about.
Buzz on 5th February 2015 @ 7:29am
Sad to see the destruction but great to see this view of the
Kenn on 5th February 2015 @ 8:05am
Boy, that is sure the truth Buzz. Being the opinionated person that I am, I am always having to change my opinions because history throws in a new viewpoint.
Looks like the pedestrian walkway was cantilevered on with timbers?
Speaking of bridges getting old, needing to be replaced with the addition of a nice pedestiran/bicycle walkway and....oh well...I won't go there.
l.e. on 5th February 2015 @ 8:20am
Thanks Arthur for this week's photos.
It has been a thought provoking history of how building design reveals a "sign of the times".
l.e. on 5th February 2015 @ 8:25am
As a child I use to fish off that walk way.
DanK on 5th February 2015 @ 8:36am
We lost our membership in the club of arched bridges from up and down the coast and along the Columbia. A sad decision that I wonder about as all the others are still standing. And speaking
of concrete work, have you noticed that the old signed sidewalks(and many dated) are still in excellent condition while more recent pours are in poor to dismal state. They knew some things about concrete and how to make it permanent in the 20's and 30's.
nels on 5th February 2015 @ 8:47am
Structural concrete was very inconsistent in the early 1900's, while today it is engineered to careful standards (and inspected). The 1982 ODOT inspection of the 1918 bridge showed many crumbling sections, while others were perfectly intact. As for sidewalks (or anything else that is old!)-- the old ones we see today are the ones that lasted. I am sure there were plenty of poorly built sidewalks which are long gone.
Arthur on 5th February 2015 @ 11:39am
Concrete! Let's see how long (State Street (West End) lasts now. That street had survived everything and was still in good shape.
judy on 5th February 2015 @ 4:36pm