Rouge River Bridge
(Rouge River Bridge)
Completed January 21, 1932 and dedicated In Memory to the Governor of Oregon Isaac Lee Patterson (1926-died in office 1929)
1932.... The bridge was considered the most advanced concrete bridge in America.
1982.... The bridge was listed as a national engineering landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
1999.... $13 million Grant Authorized for the preservation of this famous bridge. This project will assure that future generations can enjoy this beautiful structure of a bygone era.
The Construction Contract for the Patterson Bridge was awarded to the Mercer Frazer Co. of Eureka, California for $600,000.
Construction started in March 1930 and the bridge was opened for traffic approximately 660 days later.
The head bridge engineer for the Oregon Highway department was Conde B. McCollough who is remembered in Oregon history for featuring Oregon bridge designs which displayed graceful beauty while maintaining exceptional engineering standards.
The bridge was famous due to the use of a new construction technique developed by French engineer Ernest Freyssinet.
The new method used an arch design which was built in two independent segments and separated at the crown.
step was to separate the crown using screw jacks and hydraulic jacks and then weld metal rods into the crown space. The crown area was then filled with concrete to create a pre-stressed concrete arch.
The Patterson Bridge was the first bridge in the United States to use this new French method.
On May 28, 1932 over 5000 people attended the official dedication party which was commenced when Vice President of the United States Charles Curtis, during the term of President Herbert Hoover pressed a Gold Telegraph key at the White House which signaled Gold Beach to begin the official dedication. What followed was a wild party with Carnival Games, Boat races, live bands, and a massive Salmon Barbecue.