Location:Pierce County, WA (view map)
Type: Reinforced Concrete Truss
Year Built: 1934
Crosses: Puyallup River
The unique McMillin Bridge is a nationally significant example of a reinforced concrete truss. It is the largest of the few examples built in America. The bridge was constructed in 1934, replacing a steel truss. Partly due to the prominence of the Portland Cement Company in the area, many bridges in Washington and Oregon were either built from concrete or steel encased with concrete. Since many concrete arch bridges were built in the early to mid 1900's, it is understandable that Pierce County would experiment with a concrete truss. The bridge was conceived by Homer Hadley of the Portland Cement Company. The W.H. Whitt Company of Seattle prepared the construction documents and Dolph Jones of Tacoma was the contractor. County engineers were W.E. Berry and his successor, Forest Easterday. According to WSDOT, at the time of its completion, the bridge was the longest-spanning concrete truss in America. Due to the rarity of the type, it most likely still holds that record.
Plan to see the historically significant truss bridge soon, since construction of its replacement is to begin in 2011.