Portland Loves Its Bridges. Here’s What Makes Them Special.

Portland is a city of bridges, and boy, do those bridges have a lot of history.

We dug into the archives to learn more about all 12 Portland bridges across the Willamette, from the majestic St. Johns (“a prayer in steel”) to the gritty Steel Bridge (“It’s no Empire State Building, but it’s ours”).

Here’s what we learned about our city’s iconic spans. Enjoy!

The St. Johns Bridge is Portland’s only suspension bridge and one of the most magnificent in the country.

The Fremont Bridge was completed in 1973 and was a recordsetting 12 million pounds, the heaviest lift in history at the time of its completion.

The Broadway bridge is only one of three Rall-bascule bridges left in the entire country. Here's why that makes this bridge special.

Every year tons of bicyclists cross this bridge, which is also known as the last operational “telescoping vertical-lift bridge” in the U.S.

The Burnside Bridge was the first Willamette River bridge in Portland to be designed with the help of an architect.

When the original Morrison Bridge opened in 1887, it was the city's first span across the Willamette River and the longest bridge west of the Mississippi.

Did you know an epic chase scene in a Benicio Del Toro movie involved his character jumping off the Hawthorne Bridge into the Willamette River?

Built in 1966, the Marquam Bridge received so many complaints about its ugly design, that it inspired the construction of a more beautiful Portland bridge.

Tilikum Crossing is the first major bridge in the country for cyclists, pedestrians, and public transit but not cars. Tilikum roughly translates to "Bridge of the People."

The Ross Island is the busiest non-interstate bridge in Portland — and one of the worst to get caught on during rush hour.

The Sellwood Bridge was hastily constructed in less than a year, and before it was rebuilt in 2016, it was one of the most structurally unsound bridges in the country.