Pacific Highway Interstate Bridge, 1917

The Interstate Bridge, connecting Portland with Vancouver, Washington, was a single span carrying two-way traffic when it opened in 1917. A second bridge was added in 1958 and this original span carries northbound traffic now. The new bridge was built with a humpback profile and this old span was upgraded that way too, so this flat profile no longer exists. This 1917 view, which includes the old ferry, looks south from Vancouver.

(City of Portland Archives)

7 thoughts on “Pacific Highway Interstate Bridge, 1917

  1. Who , of us who had to pay it, will ever forget the toll-collection baskets on the ” New ” interstate Bridge southbound and the early ” problem ” of metal electrical box knock-outs weighing close enough to real coins to allow ” free ” passage ……. a short-lived phenomenon that was soon corrected !!!

  2. Aside from minor details of riveted construction, At first glance the spans seem identical.
    But the newer span is about 10′ wider still carrying three traffic lanes like the older span.

  3. “COLUMBIA SPAN IS FORMALLY OPENED –
    Dream of Half Century Is Realized. –
    PORTLAND-VANCOUVER LINKED –
    Traffic Starts With Brilliant Ceremony on Bridge. –
    THOUSANDS ATTEND AFFAIR –
    Old Ferryboat Toots Last Mournful Salute as Gala Day Crowds Begin to Surge Across Big $1,700,000 Structure.”
    Oregonian 02/15/1917, Page 1

  4. Speaking of the bridge, does anyone here know why the meadian of the Portland side of I-5 adjacent to the bridge is filled with river rocks?

  5. If that median is what I think you are asking about,..
    I remember this structure as it was firstly constructed sometime in the 70’s, It was soil filled but sprouted a huge lot of noxious weeds rightly there after.
    I expect it was rock filled to eliminate that. Maybe since its a hassle, expensive and dangerous to have a roadcrew regularly clearing it.

  6. the guy in the hat and overcoat standing alone in the center of the picture bottom is talking on a cell phone.

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