Crooked River Bridge

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In Terrebonne, Oregon the Crooked River Bridge has constructed adjacent to the classic Conde McCullock Steel arch bridge.  The New bridge spans the Crooked River Gorge, 300 ft. above the river, with an concrete arch span of 410 ft. The structure is being built in 28 x 43-ft. segments that will support a concrete box girder that is 79 ft. wide and 5 ft.- 6 in. deep and spans 53 ft. between spandrel columns.  

First U.S. High Gorge Cast-in-Place Segmental Arch Bridge ever built.

Completion Date: Sept 16, 2000

Construction costs: 15.8 Million

Designer: T.Y. Lin International

Contractor: Kiewit Pacific Co.

Owner: Oregon DOT

Project Update:

Four years in the making from design through construction, the Crooked River Bridge in Terrebone, Oregon, opened to traffic on September 16, 2000. Spanning a dramatic basalt gorge 300 feet above the Crooked River, this is the first major cast-in-place segmental concrete arch bridge in the United States and “one of ODOT’s marquee projects of the decade,” according to Mark Hirota, PE, State Bridge Engineer for the Oregon Department of Transportation.  The bridge, which is located about 10 miles north of Redmond on Highway 97, is 535 feet long and 79 feet wide.

 Designed by T.Y. Lin International, Crooked River Bridge has set a new standard in bridge engineering and construction and created new possibilities for concrete arches over deep crossings. Although cable-stayed construction and the use of segmental travelers are both relatively common, they had never before been combined on an arch bridge design in the United States.

 The unusual engineering solution responded to the complexity of the site, whose vertical sides precluded traditional formwork.  During construction, 185-foot tall stay towers were erected on both rims of the gorge, which is 410 feet wide.  Steel cables suspended the segmental travelers as each segment was cast, moving from the canyon rims toward the center.  When the arch was complete, finally meeting at the center within one inch of allowed tolerances, the towers and cables were removed.

 “Given the uniqueness of the site, constructibility became more than just a cost factor because the construction scheme would define the feasibility of a concrete crossing,” said David Goodyear, the project chief bridge engineer for T.Y. Lin International.  More than 7,860 cubic yards of concrete – the equivalent of 1,000 concrete mixer loads – were used to construct the new bridge.  It is reinforced with one-inch rebar that, if placed end to end, would stretch 132 miles. 

 Crooked River Bridge replaces the High Bridge – now a certified historic landmark – which was designed by famed Oregon bridge engineer Conde B. McCullough and built in 1926. The state will retain High Bridge as a pedestrian and bicycle crossing after structural improvements have been made.  Mandated as an arch by ODOT and a citizen advisory committee, the new bridge compliments the design of the old, with adequate separation between the two to allow scenic views of both. “Oregon has developed a culture of bridge design that has largely avoided the stark and industrial efficiency that has affected bridge designs in other states,” commented Goodyear. He added, “The bridge is painted to blend with Nature’s high desert palette.  The box is a burnt brown, the arch and columns a rust-red, and abutments a rock-colored gray.”