A Monster of an Oregon Coast Anniversary: Newport Bridge Turning 75
(Newport, Oregon) – It opened up in 1936 as part of the federally funded project that helped end the Great Depression and started tourism along the Oregon coast. It was one of five bridges that opened up that year, essentially creating Highway 101 as we know it.
In about a month, the town of Newport will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of this icon: the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
It’s a quiet gearing up that’s happening in town right now, but it’s going to explode with all the pomp and circumstance of a Lewis and Clark bicentennial. It all starts on Labor Day weekend and runs for a month, climaxing with a huge celebration on October 1 and 2.
Historic bridge photo courtesy Lincoln County Historical Society
The Yaquina Bay Bridge opened for traffic on Labor Day in 1936, and was dedicated on Saturday, October 3, 1936. Because of this, the celebration will start slowly during Labor Day weekend and then erupt on October 1 and 2.
Various book releases, walking tours, a coloring contest, a photo contest and a variety of displays around town begin on Labor Day weekend and last all month. Rogue Brewery rolls out a special commemorative label on September 1.
On Saturday, October 1, the historic histrionics begin, including a panel discussion about the bridge and a history walk from City Hall to the bridge from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
October 2 features a community picnic with 1930’s-style dress, food, entertainment and formal ceremonies. A bridge walk opens the event, with people being followed by vintage automobiles from the period.
The original dedication ceremonies in 1936 featured a parade, a banquet, two naval destroyers, a squadron of seaplanes, an army band and many soldiers from Fort Vancouver.
The Yaquina Bay Bridge was designed by famed architect Conde McCullough, who helped make some 600 bridges around the world, including many along the Oregon coast. He passed away in 1946 and was for many years a professor at Oregon State University.
It is 3,260 feet long and has two 350-foot steel arches.
For more information on the event call Michelle at Instant Replay Sports at 541-265-9202.
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