Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On the road with Rock Point

Thought I'd give you a bit of historical perspective on our namesake bridge. The Rock Point Bridge, crossing the mighty Rogue River, and the gateway to Rock Point Wines, was completed in 1919, and spans 112.9 feet. The total length is 504 feet, with a width of 19 feet. As you can tell by the pictures, a lot of water under the bridge since 1919, and it much needed a facelift. The Oregon DOT began work in September of 09, with a now pushed back completion date of Summer, 2010.

Anyone who has driven across the beautiful, yet dilapidated Art Deco "Major Arch Bridge" can attest to how narrow 19 feet can be. So, during the rehabilitation, ODOT is widening the bridge by 6 inches. Everyone knows how important 6 inches can be. The original glory will be restored, with special attention paid to the classic urn shaped balustrade.

When originally designed, there were some distinct challenges. Due to the great depth of the Rogue (80 feet), a standard falsework structure could not be built to support the structure, so the contractors built a wooden truss to support the build. Just think how many happy river rafters have floated under the span and admired it's beauty or was saddened by its disrepair. We look forward to the reopening this summer, and if you are in one of those rafts, make sure to have an ample supply of Rock Point Wines reserved for dinner.

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