Engineers demolish old Clackamas River trolley bridge

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by Evan Sernoffsky, KGW.com Staff

KING5.com

Posted on March 9, 2014 at 4:30 PM

GLADSTONE, Ore. – Engineers from Union Pacific demolished the Old Trolley Bridge Sunday that was dangerously close to collapsing into the Clackamas River near Gladstone.

On Thursday morning, the railroad company noticed the bridge had moved almost 4 feet in just a few hours. The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office immediately warned boaters to avoid the area in case the bridge came crashing down.

On Sunday, engineering teams attached cables to the bridge’s trusses and toppled the bridge into the water, using unmanned winches anchored on shore by heavy equipment.

The plan was to then pull the collapsed bridge onto the south side of land, said Brock Nelson with Union Pacific.

Authorities secured the area and even asked a nearby resident to leave his home during the project. Nearby power lines were also disabled in case the bridge collapses into them.

Bystanders started to gather a safe distance away from the project to watch the demolition at Charles Ames Memorial City Park in Gladstone.

The bridge is an abandoned remnant of a trolley line that connected Oregon City and Portland. The High Rocks area where the bridge spans the Clackamas River is about a mile up river from the confluence with the Willamette.

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