Bridge of the Gods

 Effective May 1, 2014 toll increase for 3 axles or more (see attached file)

Toll Chart:

Vehicle Type:

Toll:

Toll w/ Coupon Book*:

Cars:

$1.00

$0.75

Dual-Wheeled Pick-Ups:

$2.00

$1.50

Trucks:

$1.00 per axle

Small Trailers:

$0.50 per axle

Motorcycles, Bicycles, and Pedestrians:

$0.50

*Coupon Books may be purchased at the Bridge of the Gods, or Port of Cascade Locks Main Office located in Marine Park. Call (541) 374-8619 for more information.

Bridge Information:

Clearance:

Ht : 14 ft 6 in / W : 17 ft 6 in

Type:

Cantilever

Maximum weight:

80,000 lbs

Total Length:

1858 ft

Speed Limit:

15mph

Total Width:

35 ft wide (12 ft each lane)

Pilot car needed if over 10 ft wide

Above Water:

140 ft

Water Depth:

108 ft

Revenues from the bridge pay for maintenance, painting, inspections, and Port operations.   The bridge tollhouse is open 24 hours a day and serves as the emergency relay station for police departments on both sides of the river.

bridgeofgods_fall2012

 

Pct-logo

Pacific Crest Trail

The Bridge of the Gods serves as the link for hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail to cross the Columbia River to continue their journey onto Washington State.

Crossing the Columbia River is the lowest elevation in the 2,600 mile journey. Many hikers reach Cascade Locks in August, and there are several events in town to celebrate this trail link:

 

Ancient Bridge and Legend

Scientists believe that about 1,000 years ago, a giant landslide from the north shore of the Columbia River blocked the Gorge and stopped the river’s flow. This natural dam created an inland sea in eastern Oregon, Washington, and into Idaho. Over time, water eroded the dam and created an awesome natural stone bridge. Eventually, this bridge fell, creating the Cascade rapids.

Native American legend also speaks of the creation and destruction of this natural bridge. The People of the Columbia River had great difficulty crossing the Columbia River. Manito, the Great Spirit, was sympathetic and build a stone bridge for them. This stone bridge, called the great crossover, was so important that Manito placed Loo-Wit, an old and wise woman, as its guardian.

Over time, the People began to fear that the bridge would wash away, and they appealed to the Great Spirit. Manito agreed to protect the bridge, and the grateful People gave it a new name, the Bridge of the Gods.

At about the same time, Manito also sent to earth his sons- three great snow mountains; Multnomah, the warrior (Mt. Rainier), Klickitat, the totem-maker (Mt. Adams), and Wyeast, the singer (Mt. Hood). All was peaceful until beautiful Squaw Mountain moved into a small valley between Klickitat and Wyeast.

Squaw Mountain grew to love Wyeast, but thought it great fun to flirt with Klickitat, his big, good-natured brother. Soon a rivalry sprang up between the two brothers over Squaw Mountain. They argued, growled, stomped their feet, spat ashes and belched great clouds of black smoke. Each hurled white-hot rocks, setting fire to the forests and driving the people into hiding. Finally, they threw so many stones onto the Bridge of the Gods and shook the earth so hard that the stone bridge broke in the middle and fell in the river.

Upon hearing this, Manito was angry and in punishment for the destruction of the bridge he caused a series of huge rapids to form in the river.

Meanwhile, Klickitat won the fight over Squaw Mountain and Wyeast admitted defeat. This was a severe blow to Squaw Mountain as she loved Wyeast. Though she took her place by Klickitat, her heart was broken, and she sank into a permanent deep sleep. She is known today as Sleeping Beauty and lies where she fell, just west of Mt. Adams.

When this happened, Klickitat had a high, straight head, like Wyeast. But Klickitat truly loved Squaw Mountain, and her fate caused him such grief that he dropped his head in shame and has never raised it again.

During the war Loo-Wit, the guardian of the bridge, tried to stop the fight but she failed and fell with it. The Great Spirit heard of her faithfulness and promised to grant her a wish. She asked to be made young and beautiful once more. However, being old in spirit she did not desire companionship. The Great Spirit granted Loo-Wit her wish. He turned her into the most beautiful of all the mountains and allowed her to settle by herself far to the west. She is now known as the youngest mountain in the Cascades, the beautiful and powerful Mt. St. Helens.

 

Modern Bridge

The Bridge of the Gods as it exists today was created in a much less dramatic fashion than the original bridge, but it sits in beautiful contrast to the powerful scenery of the Gorge. The cantilevered bridge is the third oldest bridge on the Columbia River.

In 1920, the US War Department issued a construction permit for the bridge to the Interstate Construction Corporation. By 1925, the company had managed only to construct one pier. Wauna Toll Bridge Company purchased Interstate’s interest in the bridge in October 1926 at a cost of $602,077. The finished structure has a cantilever main span of 707’9″, with 211’8″ anchor arms. The total cantilever structure length is 1,131 feet and overall bridge length is 1,858 feet, with a width of 35 feet. The original bridge had a wooden deck and was 91 feet above the river.

The 1938 completion of Bonneville Dam necessitated raising the bridge 44′ to accommodate the rise in backwater. Congress allotted funding for the project which was completed in 1940 for $762,276.

In 1953, the Columbia River Bridge Company acquired the bridge and after 8 years of discussion, the Port of Cascade Locks Commission purchased the bridge with $950,000 in revenue bonds, issued on November 1, 1961. Today, the bridge is owned and operated by the Port of Cascade Locks. In 1966, the Commission authorized a second $300,000 revenue bond for re-decking, painting and construction of a new toll canopy.

Revenues from the bridge pay for maintenance, painting, inspections, and bond repayment. While the original cost to build the bridge was $602,077, today it would cost around $27 million to replace the bridge.

The bridge tollhouse is open 24 hours a day and serves as the emergency relay station for police departments on both sides of the river. The bridge also serves as the link connecting Oregon and Washington along the tri-state Pacific Crest Trail.

For more information about the bridge or history of the modern bridge please contact the Port Office. 541-374-8619

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