Scenic USA - Oregon

Yaquina Bay Bridge

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Yaquina Bay Bridge - Newport, Oregon

Photos by Denny E Barnes
Denny Barnes Photography

     Long before modern paved highways were common, rugged and sometimes muddy wagon roads provided the only access to the Oregon Coast. Travel to the north and south was often along the shoreline at low tide. Yaquina Bay Bridge - Newport, Oregon With the advent of automobile travel, construction on a coastal highway began in 1919, sometimes called the Roosevelt Military Highway. The final link in Oregon's Coastal Highway was the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Construction began in 1934 and completed in 1936. This New Deal construction project employed 220 men, pouring over 30,000 cubic yards of concrete and erecting over 3100 tons of steel. When completed, the Oregon Coastal Highway was coupled up with Washington and California's project, creating a continuous roadway from Canada to Mexico.
     The bridge is a constant challenge to keep corrosion at bay in the concrete and steel superstructure. Sandblasting removes rust from rebar and steel members, with zinc coatings applied afterward. In a process called cathodic protection, electrical current is passed through the rebar, keeping corrosive salts away. Yaquina Bay Bridge - Newport, Oregon A monumental task, the steel portions of this famous landmark require painting every four to five years.
     Newport, centrally located on Oregon coast, has been a favorite tourist destination since the 1860s. Seafood lovers enjoy bountiful Pacific catches as well as the succulent Yaquina Bay oyster that made Newport world famous. Today, visitors marvel at the Oregon Coast Aquarium that includes six acres of shoreline cliffs, rocky caves, tide pools, nature trails and the largest seabird aviary in North America. For those that love the beach, the Newport chamber suggests South Beach State Park, Cobble Beach, Nye Beach and the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area.

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