Home Archives May 2007 Bonneville Dam's bridge swings easier with new bearings

Bonneville Dam's bridge swings easier with new bearings

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, May 01, 2007

{safe_alt_text}

CASCADE LOCKS — Most Oregonians know it for its fish ladder and its role in Oregon’s hydropower history, but Bonneville Dam is also home to the one of the world’s few concrete swing bridges. All 4 million pounds of it.

Installed in the early 1990s and measuring about 186 feet, the swing bridge stretches across the navigation channel and opens for tugboat traffic. If the bridge goes out of commission, so does all the upper Columbia barge traffic.

The swing bridge, and other dam bridges across the state, are swinging easier these days, thanks to some innovative self-lubricating bearings made by Eugene-based Columbia Industrial Products (CIP).

The bearings, or wear pads, that the bridge rests on are no small engineering feat. Originally made from bronze or brass, the bearings required oil for lubrication, something that quickly became an environmental issue since the bearings are located near or in water. For eight years the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sponsored a worldwide testing program to encourage development of cleaner, more cost-effective bearings. CIP’s bearings, made of polyester textiles and resins, emerged as the best product because it needed no exterior lubricant. CIP is now a $2.3 million business.   

The new bearings, installed during the annual weeklong lock outage in March, create less friction than previous models and have their own internal lubrication, making them more environmentally friendly. These multi-tasking wonders keep the bridge, and the river traffic, moving. 

— Colleen Moran

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Tight and Loose

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

As schools implement more rigorous academic standards, holistic and flexible approaches to K-12 education flourish.


Read more...

Downtime

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

I'm not very interesting,” says a modest Ray Di Carlo, CEO and executive producer of Bent Image Labs, an animation and visual effects studio.


Read more...

A Good Leap Forward

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Agriculture businesses ramp up to meet international demand as workforce and succession challenges loom.


Read more...

Podcast: Testing for Emotional Intelligence with John Hersey

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 19, 2014
ivbU3sIXBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you tell if you, a peer, a subordinate or a job candidate has the emotional intelligence needed to do well?


Read more...

Video: The 100 Best Survey

News
Thursday, August 28, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1OB Research Editor Kim Moore shares some pointers about the 100 Best Companies to Work For survey.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Grape Expectations

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Well-financed outsiders from France and California are buying up vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS