Bridges of Portland
Portland is an inland port city that rose to importance in the mid-19th century as a major shipping point for the Pacific Northwest's wheat, lumber, and other commodities. The Columbia and Willamette Rivers enabled seagoing vessels to reach the port, but they also presented obstacles to local travel and commerce. Willamette River ferry service was available by 1853, but Portlanders had to wait until 1887 for a bridge. The first was the Morrison Bridge, followed by the Steel Bridge in 1888, the Madison Bridge was in 1891, and the Burnside Bridge in 1894. These bridges helped Portland grow from 17,600 residents in 1880 to 90,000 in 1900. Many more bridges were added as Portland grew during the 20th century, and well-known bridge engineers Ralph Modjeski, J.A.L. Waddell, Gustav Lindenthal, David Steinman, and Joseph Strauss each contributed to Portland's world-class collection of bridges.
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