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Gustav Lindenthal

In the aftermath of the political scandal, the new board of commissioners canceled its existing contracts and determined to hire a nationally recognized bridge expert to review and manage the three bridge projects. In June 1924, they hired 78 year-old Gustav Lindenthal of New York, the acknowledged "dean" of American bridge engineers, to take over the bridge program from Hedrick and Kremers.

Lindenthal advised against re-using the Burnside Bridge spans at Sellwood and he also criticized the design of the proposed Ross Island Bridge (The Oregonian, Aug. 5, 1924).

Lindenthal recommended that the new Sellwood Bridge employ an uncommon design: a steel four-span continuous riveted Warren Deck Truss with verticals. The design would make the Sellwood the only bridge of its kind in Oregon, and an extremely rare bridge type anywhere in the world (Wood Wortman, HAER-103). The Sellwood Bridge would be Portland’s first high bridge without a movable span and the first Portland bridge to be designed without trolley tracks - almost entirely devoted to automobile traffic.

$6,437,000 for three new bridgesThe Morning Oregonian, Jan. 1, 1925 (Enlarge)

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