Crews bring down Old Trolley Bridge

GLADSTONE, Ore. - It's the end of an era for the Old Trolley Bridge in Gladstone. It came crashing down into the river right around noon on Sunday.

The bridge has been a staple of the landscape in Gladstone and Oregon City since it was built all the way back in 1893, standing strong against more than a century's worth of storms and floods. But all of that changed last Thursday.

The south side foundation began giving way and the bridge started sagging.

Union Pacific owns the bridge and they decided on Friday that it had to come down. So they attached a massive cable to a winch and some heavy equipment and gave it one big tug.

Those who came to watch say it was emotional seeing this landmark come tumbling down.

"I jumped off that bridge back in the 1970s. My son did it a few years ago, but he won't be doing it anymore," said Gladstone resident Eric Hargrove.

The bridge hasn't been used for decades but the town had plans to restore it and turn it into a pedestrian bridge. They just secured grant money for a feasibility study that was supposed to begin next week.

Now many here blame the new Coffer Dam which protects a pumping station for rerouting the river. They say it has caused the water to slam right into the same bridge foundation that failed.

That's all part of a new water project by Lake Oswego and Tigard.

Union Pacific says pulling the bridge out of the river could last a few days. Workers will begin the process this week.

The bridge will be cut up and recycled as scrap metal.