Wednesday, March 14, 2018

BNSF/BN/OTR Celilo Falls Bridge over Columbia River near Whishram, WA

(Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; Satellite, 12 photos; Jinwoo Nam Photo)

OTR = Oregon Trunk Railway

Thom Small shared
before they dammed the free flowing columbia and destroyed the falls
Gathering the Stories posted
Railroad crossing at Celilo Falls in the 1930's.
James Johnson i not sure if its the same train bridge but theres still a train bridge there i fish there alot an its interesting to see the falls on my depth finder.
Carol Craig When construction of the railroad bridge was happening tribal fishers would look and say, "Why are they building that bridge so high because even during the high water months of the year, it would not have to be that high." What they did not know was the state and federal agencies were making plans to later flood the falls without tribal government approval.
[Note that the swing bridge was over a canal that went around the falls to downstream locks.]

Credit line: Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
Carol M. Highsmith's photographs are in the public domain.

Street View
Note a lift span was built next to a swing span.

Street View

Erick Halstead posted two photos with the comment: "High above what used to be Celilo Falls, a westbound BNSF grain train heads towards the Pacific Ocean on BNSF's Fallbridge Subdivision west of Wishram, Washington, while a B&B crew works on the lift bridge crossing the Columbia River into Oregon."

Bruce Schwierske posted
Starting its trip down the Oregon Trunk Subdivision, a BNSF train with five locomotives in five different paint schemes crosses the Columbia River at Celilo, Oregon on April 21, 2019. Submitted 1/17/21

Bruce commented on his post in response to a paint schemes comment
Warren T Brill: How often is that bridge raised?
Bruce Schwierske: If I'm not mistaken, it's usually in the up position and is only lowered when a train calls.
David Stevens: Bruce Schwierske You are correct.

Brian McKern posted
First time for me seeing all Amazon headed south on the Oregon Trunk across the Celilo Drawbridge.
Fred Bedard Wow!! A super hot Train on the OT sub. Glad I'm not there to fix a Slide fence.

Bridge Hunter

ColumbiaRiverImages, this site has several photos of the bridge after the dam was built as well, an example
Penny Postcard, Image copyrighted 1914, "Oregon Trunk Bridge, Across Celilo Rapids, Columbia River, Oregon.". Image copyright 1914 by Kiser Photo Co., Portland, Oregon. Published by Lipschuetz & Katz, Portland, Oregon. Card #261. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Robert Holton posted
It was late in the Great Depression that my Grandmother hurt her back carrying one of my uncles in a mad dash across this bridge over the Columbia near Wishram, WA. where my Grandfather worked in the switchyard for the then SP&S. A miserable town where the timing gear blew out in my 51 chevy on a visit in 1968.
Robert Eisenman commented on a photo
An 8 span Through Truss Wye span with an active lift span as well. Fall Bridge at Wishram, Wa, gateway to the Oregon Trunk Sub.

Joel Hawthorn posted
HVAWFRS109A (Vancouver - Fresno) getting off the Fallbridge and onto the OT. The Oregon Trunk Rail Bridge or Celilo Bridge is a single-track railroad bridge opened in 1912 over the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. It consists of eight steel truss spans and several deck girder spans, and since 1957, when the river was dammed, has included a vertical-lift section. Feb 10, 2021
Joel Hawthorn: Claude, no drone, just a climb down the hill from above.

United States Army of Corps of Engineers from Widipedia
Dipnet fishing at the Cul-De-Sac of Celilo Falls (Columbia River) around 1957, Oregon, Pacific Northwest, USA.
The Celilo Bridge was built near the site of Celilo Falls in 1912. The bridge was originally a fixed span structure, but a swing span was added during the construction of the Celilo Canal which provided marine passage of the falls. In late 1950’s a vertical lift span was added as a part of the construction of The Dalles Dam which flooded the canal and the falls in 1957. The swing span remains in place but has not been operational since the lift span was installed. The bridge consists of six fixed span through Parker trusses, one vertical lift span, one swing span and many plate girder approach spans. [Bridge Hunter]
While I was researching The Dulles Dam, I read that the Native Americans built the village Celio at these falls because it was a prime fishing spot. Before it was flooded by the dam, it was the oldest permanent settlement in North America. I looked back through the reference material I read for the dam; unfortunately, I could not find that statement about Celio being the oldest village.

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