This year’s Award is the 6th in the series of Portland Bridges. The Morrison Bridge.
The Morrison Bridge is a bascule bridge that spans the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. Completed in 1958, it is the third bridge at approximately the same site to carry that name. It is one of the most heavily used bridges in Portland. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in November 2012.
The original Morrison Bridge (or Morrison Street Bridge) was a wooden truss swing-span bridge completed on April 12, 1887, as the first Willamette River bridge in Portland and the longest bridge west of the Mississippi River. It was named for the street it carried, which had been named for John L. Morrison, a Scottish immigrant who built the first home on Morrison Street. It was first a toll bridge (rates: horse-drawn rig – US $0.15, team of horses – $0.20, pedestrian – $0.05) but went toll-free in 1895. The second Morrison was another swing bridge that was built in 1905. It was not designed for automobiles and the 1958 replacement was long overdue.
The first Morrison Bridge carried horsecars starting in March 1888, about a year after the bridge opened. Electric streetcars, introduced in Portland in November 1889, replaced horsecar service on the bridge in stages starting in 1890. Streetcars also crossed the second (1905) Morrison bridge, but not the third (1958), as the last lines of Portland’s past streetcar system had been abandoned by the time it opened.