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Oregon Historic Sites Database

address:1100 NW Naito Pkwy historic name:Broadway Bridge
Portland, Multnomah County current/other names:Bridge #6757
assoc addresses:1100 NW Front Ave
block/lot/tax lot:
location descr:Spanning the Willamette River at RM 11.7 twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:1N 1E 34
resource type:structure height (stories): total elig resources:1 total inelig resources:0
elig evaluation: eligible/significant NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:c.1912 second date:1913 date indiv listed:11/14/2012
primary orig use: TRANSPORTATION: General orig use comments:
second orig use:
primary style: Other / Undefined prim style comments:
secondary style: sec style comments:
primary siding: Steel siding comments:
secondary siding: Stone:Other/Undefined
plan type: Movable Span architect:Modjeski, R & Taylor D W
builder:
comments/notes:
Physical file located in MPS section under Group Name
Survey/Grouping Included In: Type of Grouping Date Listed Date Compiled
   Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon Thematic Group Thematic Grouping 1985
   Willamette River Highway Bridges of Portland, OR MPD MPS 11/14/2012 2011
NR date listed: 11/14/2012
ILS survey date:
RLS survey date:
106 Project(s)
SHPO Case Date Agency Effect Eval
07-2743 02/09/2010 no adverse effect
06/19/2002 no adverse effect
Special Assess Project(s): None
Federal Tax Project(s): None
(Includes expanded description of the building/property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings and alterations)
The Broadway Bridge opened to traffic in April 1913, spans the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Oregon, at River Mile 11.7, just downstream from the Steel Bridge, within the core of the central commercial district of the city. Comprised of six steel through-trusses, the center span is a 278-foot-long, double-leaf Rall bascule and the overall length of the structure is 1,613 feet. The Broadway Bridge was designed by Ralph Modjeski, with the operable, Rall span designed under patent by the Strobel Steel Construction Company of Chicago, Illinois. The steel superstructure of the bridge was built by the Pennsylvania Steel Company. Union Bridge and Construction Company built the masonry substructure. The bridge is owned and maintained by Multnomah County.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
The Broadway Bridge, the first bascule or drawbridge to be constructed across the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, was completed in April 1913. The bridge was designed by noted bridge engineer Ralph Modjeski with a Rall bascule designed by the Strobel Steel Construction Company of Chicago, Illinois. The Broadway Bridge is of statewide significance for its role within Portland’s transportation and development history as the first trans-Willamette River bridge to be constructed on an entirely new alignment in the 20th century. Its construction was a response to the increased cross-river traffic north of the traditional downtown, as Portland’s population and business center grew in the early part of the 20th century. The Broadway Bridge is additionally of national significance under Criterion C as one of the few surviving examples of the patented Rall-type bascule, an early alternative to the more popular bascule forms that dominated most movable bridge construction. One of only three Rall bridges still in operation in the United States, the Broadway Bridge is the largest Rall bascule to have ever been built and as such is a key exemplar of that technology. Nominated under the framework of the Willamette River Highway Bridges Multiple Property Document (MPD) and built within the first temporal period as defined by that document, the Broadway Bridge is of statewide significance under National Register eligibility Criterion A, Community Planning and Development and Transportation, for its association with the development of Portland and its transportation network between its construction in 1913 and the close of the period of significance for the MPD document in 1973. The Broadway Bridge is additionally of national significance under Criterion C, Engineering, as the oldest and largest example of the patented Rall-type bascule movable bridge design and technology known to exist. The period of significance under Criterion C is the date of construction, 1913. The Broadway Bridge meets all the general and the necessary specific registration requirements for listing under the MPD.
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Bibliography:
DeLony, Eric. Landmark American Bridges. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1993. Lansing, Jewell. Portland: People, Politics and Power 1851–2001. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2003–2005. MacColl, E. Kimbark. The Growth of a City: Power and Politics in Portland, Oregon 1915–1950. Portland, OR: The Georgian Press, 1979. McGaw, Judith A. Broadway Bridge, Historic American Engineering Record [HAER No. OR-22]. Prepared as part of the Willamette River Bridges Recording Project, HAER/Oregon Department of Transportation, in cooperation with Multnomah County, 1999. Oregonian. Misc. issues as cited by date/page in text. Oregon Journal. Misc. issues as cited by date/page in text. Plowden, David. Bridges: The Spans of North America. New York, NY: The Viking Press, 1974. Ritz, Richard Ellison. Architects of Oregon. Portland, OR: Lair Hill Publishing, 2002. Smith, Dwight, James B. Norman and Pieter T. Dykman. Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon (2nd, Revised Ed.). Portland, OR: Oregon Historical Society Press, 1986. The Conveyor. “Broadway Bridge Installation Marks Historic Milestone,” November 2004. Wood Wortman, Sharon, with Ed Wortman. The Portland Bridge Book (3rd Edition). Portland, OR: Urban Adventure Press, 2006.