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 Originally made from bronze or brass, the bearings required oil for lubrication, something that quickly became an environmental issue since the bearings are located near or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

Biker dreams

The Latest
Friday, May 15, 2015
bike at ater wynn-thumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces announced

News
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
OBM-100-best-Green-logo-2015-1000pxwBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

More than 250 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.


Read more...

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

Up in the Air

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON

Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.


Read more...

Credit Unions Perspective

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Gene Pelham, CEO of Rogue Credit Union.


Read more...

Short Shrift:The threat of just-in-time scheduling

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Companies can benefit when they use software to meet staffing requirements and address employees' family and life commitments.


Read more...

Change at the pump?

The Latest
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
001thumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that ban self serve gas stations. But these two holdouts may be ready to give up the game. New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon is considering smaller scale changes.


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