Construction began in 1912 as a part of the building of the Columbia River Highway. Troutdale would be the gateway to the remarkable road, which was the engineering marvel of its day and officially dedicated in 1916. While there were earlier bridges across the Sandy River, they were wooden affairs that did not last long and one apparently crumpled in the night, alarming local residents. In 1912, while the new bridge was being built, local residents were forced to detour to stark Street to cross the river, or to use a small ferry that crossed the Sandy. The ferry was operating in 1912 during the smelt run when the chauffeur of a large auto misjudged the approach to the ferry, landing in the river and forcing the beautifully-dressed occupants of the car to climb out the top and holler for rescue.
For more on Troutdale and Corbett’s role in the Columbia River Highway read: “East of the Sandy, The Columbia River Highway,” by Clarence Mershon.
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