Throughout the 20th century, traffic increased dramatically on US Highway 97 - from a few vihicles per day in the 1920's to over 8,000 by the 1990's! After 70 years, the Crooked River (High) Bridge (1926) though still structurally sound was unable to accommodate the needs of the new millennium.
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) began planning a new crossing of the Crooked River Gorge in the late 1990's. To honor the tradition of bridge crossings over the Crooked River Gorge, it was important for this new bridge to complement the older bridges. David Goodyear, an award-winning bridge engineer was contracted to design the new structure - a concrete deck arch bridge, 535 feet long (almost 100 feet longer than its predecessors) 79 feet wide and 295 feet high.
The new Crooked River Bridge is the first major cast-in-place segmental concrete arch bridge in the United States. Construction began in November 1997, and the bridge opened to public on September 16, 2000.