The Steel Bridge was Portland’s first train bride to span the Willamette River. Built originally in 1888 (and rebuilt to it’s current form in 1912), the bridge was originally steel – a material not often used at the time.
The bridge was modified to not only carry the train on the lower deck, but the commuter train (MAX) on the top deck. A few years ago, they made a change to allow bike and pedestrian traffic across the bottom deck too.
I love this bridge for many reasons. The main is how mechanical it still looks. While the other lift bridges hide the gears and such that lift the center span, this one uses counterweights and huge pulleys. I love how low tech it looks, but still how highly functional it is. I find it is a good reminder that not everything has to be high tech to be highly function.