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Elegant Arches, Soaring Spans

C.B. McCullough, Oregon's Master Bridge Builder

Robert W. Hadlow

6 × 9 inches. Illustrations. Glossary. Bibliography. Index. 224 pages.

2001. ISBN 978-0-87071-534-1. Paperback, $24.95.

Conde Balcom McCullough ranks as a modern bridge builder of national and international acclaim. This first major study of McCullough traces the Professional life of a brilliant engineer and builder renowned for his elegant, cost-efficient, custom-designed spans. McCullough's legacy lies in the nearly 600 bridges he and his staff designed and built in Oregon during the years between the two world wars, most notably several beautiful bridges along the Oregon Coast Highway, bridges he called "jeweled clasps in a wonderful string of pearls."

Trained as a civil engineer, McCullough came to Oregon in 1916, drawn by the state's dire need for bridges and its drive to "lift its feet out of the winter's mud and summer's dust." After developing the engineering program at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University), McCullough was named the state's bridge engineer. He became an impassioned promoter of state-sponsored bridge building that incorporated engineering efficiency with economic practicality and aesthetic appeal. McCullough's long career with the State Highway Department left a legacy of bridge building in Oregon unequaled in the twentieth century.

In 1999, Engineering News-Record recognized McCullough as one of the most important bridge engineers of the past 125 years. He was an innovator in twentieth-century reinforced-concrete arch construction and built one of the first concrete tied-arch bridges in the United States. McCullough's bridges are rich in aesthetic detail; the finest among them are embellished with arch crowns, Art Deco-inspired pylons and obelisks, Gothic piers, towering spires, and arched railing panels.

Illustrated with historic photographs and drawings, Robert Hadlow's definitive and highly readable biography will delight bridge buffs and engineering enthusiasts everywhere. It will also be of great interest to Oregon coast visitors and residents, and to students of transportation and technology history.

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