Burlingame Bridge, circa 1948

Portland officials are removing the barricade and opening access to the Burlingame Bridge. Commissioners William A. Bowes and Ormond R. Bean, and City Engineers Ben Morrow and Louis Apperson were present for the event and pictured here. This image was taken circa 1948 looking south.

Terwilliger - Burlingame Bridge looking south, circa 1948: A2005-001.649

Terwilliger – Burlingame Bridge looking south, circa 1948: A2005-001.649


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13 thoughts on “Burlingame Bridge, circa 1948

  1. I believe they used the old Ford St bridge which was replaced by The Vista Bridge. The South Burlingame neighborhood has some beautiful homes with incredible views. It must have been quite serene in its early days. Unfortunately now damaged by the noise and chaos that freeway construction/installation brings.

  2. My grandparents lived across the bridge and later my aunt did too. My aunt moved in long after the freeway and loved her place near the Freeway. The freeway was a great addition, because the traffic had become so bad it was real hard to get to grandmas at times.
    I don’t know anyone at that time or after it was completed, that was oppose to fast congestion free travel on I-5. It sure beat working our way through downtown Portland to Barbur blvd or Terwilliger and the stop lights, signs and stop and go congestion.
    It freed up Terwilliger and Barbur blvd and moved the gridlock out of the neighborhoods.

  3. Ah, finally. Pictures found for the South Burlingame area. Used to cross that bridge nearly every day to get to Wilson High in the early 60s. We just called it the ‘white bridge.’ After they graded the freeway, we used to ride our bikes up and down the construction site from 19th Ave. by Capitol Hill grade school down to the Terwilliger exit.

  4. Native PDX: I respect your opinion and that of your family, but 1-5 divided neighborhoods, limited pedestrian & bicycle across 5 to the occasional bridge, and polluted the air. Visiting my Mom in Fulton, or as realtors call it, Johns Landing, we could always hear I-5, particularly when trucks blew their jake brakes. There is supposed to be particulate floating up from the freeway into the air over neighboring homes. Poor Lair Hill was divided by Naito Parkway and later separated by I-5. And at rush hours people are stuck traffic again.

  5. Ahhh…”The White Bridge”! I haven’t heard that ol’ expression in years and years! And the speed limit sign…”SPEED 25 MILES…what a joke! (hee-hee-hee!)

    I remember that old bridge…and the wooden sidewalk too! It scared the hell outta me the first time I walked across that bridge when I was a kid, but running up to Wilson High to go swimming was my motivation…so…I dealt it…and then, after a bit of time, it didn’t bother me so much. And then, of course, later…walking back and forth to Wilson High every day, it simply became routine…like stopping by the B.K. after school for a milkshake and maybe a burger, now and then…(The B.K. = The Burger King!)

    I grew up in that neighborhood…went to St. Clare’s and Capitol Hill grade schools…played down in Falcon Park…now Burlingame Park, and when the Baldock Freeway was being constructed, I got the “pleasure” of listening to the constant sounds of bulldozers, dump-trucks and other various construction vehicles, plowing their way through our neighborhood, dividing it in half…and let’s not forget the constant dust blowing around the area! (That drove my mother crazy! “Close the windows…close the doors…don’t let all that dust in the house!”) I never got used to all that noise…and when the freeway finally WAS completed, we, again, got the “pleasure” of hearing the constant sounds of traffic…24 hours a day…365 days a year…cars speeding up and down the freeway, sirens, emergency vehicles, cargo trucks downshifting because of the treacherous curves ahead and the occasional “crash” and/or accident! Oh…and the funny “light-glow…light-stream” from all the cars after the sun went down! Even back then, no one in the neighborhood really called it “The Baldock Freeway”…the nick-name “I-5-South” was the norm…and simply caught on.

    I remember the original Kaady’s Car Wash, just a stone’s throw from the North side of the bridge…went to school with Chuck, and it seemed that every guy in the neighborhood worked there at least once during their teenage years!

    The old “turn-a-round” was also a source of typical teen rituals during the late 50’s and early 60’s too…the idea was to see how many times one could drive around the “circle” before they either gave up, time ran out, or, even worse, got stopped by a policeman patrolling the area! Geeze…what a waste of gas…and time!

    Nice to see the picture though…we don’t get to see very many early photos from that part of town, so when one pops up, it’s nice to hear from others who grew up in the ol’ neighborhood!

    Thanks, Vintage…what a treat!


  6. Jonxwood
    Were you around before I-5? That is what I’m comparing it to and I could not imaging I-5 dumping all their traffic into downtown Portland, like it was before I-5. It was total gridlock and sometimes you sat through many signal changes and barely moved.

    What was worse?

  7. I’m glad there is an even newer bridge now. Always hated to be stuck on that span and feel it’s movement :(. Sad that the BK and it’s carousel is long gone also.

  8. NativePDX

    No, I don’t remember the traffic situation in Southwest before I-5 was built. I was alive when I-5 was built but too young to remember. Also, we had moved away, but visited in summer.

    Traffic problems are a result of the number of auto trips and the road grid. We can focus on increasing the miles of freeway, or stabilize or decrease the number of auto trips by creating alternatives to commuting by auto. For places with a growing population and an increasing number of auto trips, building more freeways relieves auto traffic congestion temporarily but ultimately encourages auto use and increases auto trips till gridlock returns.

  9. Jonxwood
    Alternatives to driving has remained flat for 30 years, as the population grows. The problem is the alternatives don’t go to where most people are going, when they need to be there, carrying the things and or people with them.

    Freeways do not create more trips, they aid drivers to get to where they need to be for family events, kids activities, visiting with friends, going to work or doing businesses.

    Population growth with out new infrastructure creates congestion. It is hard to decrease auto trips when the population is growing.

  10. Johnxwoods

    I, too, wish things could be “the way they used to”! What some people call “progress” sure seems to me to be vandalism šŸ™‚

    I was raised & lived in SE Portland 1954-1981 (not that that has anything to do with anything).

    Anyhow, I LOVE old roads, buildings. I am a long haul truckdriver now. But even if I wasn’t, how would you propose people traveling through the state go, if not by freeways? Everything you say may work if you live and work in the city. How do you think almost ALL goods & products get there, to your store? to your workplace? By some type of transportation that public transportation is useless for.

    I have so many books on old Hwys. Ahhh, I wish we could go back in time & have them all left in place! I love watching for pieces of them. But, they just weren’t practical for progression šŸ˜¦


  11. I like the comment about feeling the old bridge move when stopped on it. That hasn’t changed much; the new bridge fleses and moves like the old one did.

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