"For a long time I have wondered about the two concrete bridge abutments between the old 82nd street bridge and I -205. Can you tell me the bridge that crossed there and a bit of its history? Thank you, Gerry Roach"
Thank you for the question. Here is your answer.
The two tall concrete piers at High Rocks are from the 1902 Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge that crossed the Clackamas River and preceded the current railroad bridge. Around 1955, when preparations were being made to construct the new I205 freeway, it was decided to realign the existing railroad tracks and build a new bridge a short distance west of the present bridge. The 1902 bridge piers were never removed.
According to our historical records, the current Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge is the fifth to Clackamas River in this location.
1869: Ben Holladay, while engaged in the North – South Railway Race, built the first Railroad Bridge where the concrete pillars stand. His bridge collapsed shortly after completion.
1869: Ben Holladay immediately built a replacement bridge at the same location.
1876: New railroad bridge built to replace the Holladay Bridge. Same location.
1902: New railroad bridge built to replace the 1876 bridge. Same location.
1955: Current railroad bridge built to replace the 1902 bridge. Nearby location.