With the discovery of pre-stressed concrete material by French engineer-architect Eugene Freyssinet, Conde McCullough designed a lighter, more elegant structure with the Rogue River Bridge. McCullough's bridge was the first in the country that incorporated the Freyssinet method of arch ring decentering and stress control. Completed in late 1931, but elaborately dedicated on May 28, 1932, this structure is also known as the Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge for the Oregon governor who promoted this bridge. Hundreds of persons from throughout the South Coast attended the bridge's dedication.
Located on the mouth of the Rogue River at milepost 327.64, this structure connects Gold Beach with Wedderburn, Oregon.
When it was built, this 1,898-foot bridge was the longest structure between the Columbia River and San Francisco. It consists of seven, 230-foot open-spandrel, rib-type, reinforced-concrete deck arch span and eighteen concrete-deck, girder approach. Like many others along the Oregon Coast, this bridge replaced the existing ferry service.
Expressions of decorative elements include fluted, Art Deco entrance pylons; ornate bracketing and sidewalk railing; dentils; fluted spandrel columns; and detailed arched fascia curtain walls.
Designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1982 by the American Society of Civil Engineers, this bridge offers many photographic opportunities. Travelers, with an eye for decorative details, find walking its span enjoyable.
A popular and admired individual, Patterson picked up the baton and continued the expansion of the Oregon highway system that eventually brought uninterrupted traffic flow between Oregon and Washington on the coastal highway. Oregon's coastal region has become one of the most favored scenic routes in the country.