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 Originally made from bronze or brass, the bearings required oil for lubrication, something that quickly became an environmental issue since the bearings are located near or in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

Fork & Bottle

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

National media can’t get enough of Oregon’s pinot noir, artisan-food purveyors and lively, independent film scene.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Pete Friedes

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

082714-thumb friedesbookTom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.


Read more...

Launch

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

October's Launch article features Soul Kitchen, Easy Company and Slick's Big Time BBQ.


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...

Managing family assets: The importance of planning ahead

News
Friday, August 22, 2014
Unknown-1BY CLIFF HOCKLEY |  OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

When business intersects with family, a host of  situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.


Read more...

Molecular Movies

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Dr. Chong Fang isn’t God. But the assistant professor of chemistry at Oregon State University is getting closer to figuring out how he put everything together. 


Read more...

The Diaspora

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

Former newspaper journalists move into brand journalism.


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