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The old ‘swinger’ gets a facelift posted on 04/01/2017

It was the year when Dr. Martin Luther King led the march from Selma to Montgomery; the year of the Watts riots; the year when the first mini skirt fluttered down a street in London; and the year the Gateway Arch was completed in St. Louis.

Fittingly, at least in a St. Louis sense, 1965 was also the year the Swinging Bridge arched across the Zigzag River as a temporary crossing to allow access to Rhododendron in the wake of the 1964 flood.

Over the years, the iconic crossing suffered the advance of years, when wood decay presented a hazard to the community.

In 2015, Clackamas County Roads and Bridges scraped up $150,000 to rebuild the old swinger.

According to Doug McLain, of county bridge maintenance, the rebuilding of the Swinging Bridge will take place the entire month of April, with work commencing April 3. During that time the bridge will be closed to the public.

“We are replacing everything other than the towers, the main cables, and the anchor system,” McLain wrote in an email. “All of those components will be cleaned and have a new protective coating applied to them.”

New construction includes:


  • The wood will be replaced using Douglas fir, and will look like the natural wood due to the use of a wood preservative;
  • The handrail system will be green, vinyl coated wire mesh;
  • The top of the handrail system will be lowered to 43 inches;
  • And new wind bracing rods, brackets and hangers will be installed below the deck.


“What we need from the community at this time … is a secure area to park equipment and materials during the work period,” McLain wrote.

McLain can be reached at 503-780-3194 or dougmcl@co.clackamas.or.us.

By Larry Berteau/MT




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