• Sheryl Lyons

St Johns Railroad Bridge


The St Johns Railroad Bridge, also known as the Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge 5.1 or BNSF Railway Bridge 5.1 or the Willamette River Railroad Bridge, is a through-truss railway bridge with a vertical lift that spans the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, United States. Built by the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railway (SP&S) and completed in 1908, it was initially a swing-span bridge, and its swing-span section was the longest in the world in its time.


The bridge's swing span was removed in 1988 and replaced by a horizontal lift section to allow more room for ships to pass through the bridge. The cement base of the swing span was dynamited to enable removal.




The bridge's two tracks are used by freight trains of BNSF and Union Pacific Railroad, and Amtrak passenger trains. Of 12 bridges across the Willamette River within Portland, it is the sole rail-only bridge and the only bridge not open to the public. It is located at river mile 6.9.

Learn more about the neighborhood via the following links:

Open Houses in North Portland

Homes For Sale in North Portland

  • Historical information (and bridge construction photos) taken from Wikipedia and A Pictorial History of St Johns.

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