The lift span of the Hood River White Salmon Bridge has been in the news lately, so let’s take a look at its early days.  When the bridge was built in 1924 it had a fixed truss spanning the shipping channel, but the construction of the Bonneville Dam raised the water level so a lifting mechanism had to be added to that truss.  Construction started in 1937.  A tower with cables and a counterweight was constructed at each end, with a motor and gear mechanism to slowly lift the truss straight up when additional clearance was needed for marine traffic.

This image was taken April 18, 1940, which I believe was about a week after the first operation of the lift.  Construction was mostly complete:  new approached had been constructed and by this date were in use, but the old approaches wouldn’t be dismantled for a couple of weeks.  Recent river surveys show some signs of the old ramps, so perhaps they didn’t take as much care with this disassembly as would be expected today.

I think that little hut was part of the construction project.  At this time the bridge was operating with only one lane open to traffic as they finished the mechanism, so that hut protected the lane where the workers were staging the project.

If you’d like to learn more about all the different types of bridge, check out this video from one of my favorite YouTube channels.

The post Lift Span appeared first on The History Museum of Hood River County.