Coos Bay Swing Span Bridge Reopens to Rail Traffic

For Immediate Release: April 26, 2019

Coos Bay, OR - Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (Port) reopens the Coos Bay Swing Span Bridge after a year of closure due to structural failure. Rail traffic will commence immediately.

The Coos Bay Swing Span bridge has now been successfully opened to rail traffic.  The bridge will undergo testing and adjustments over the next several days.  The first order of business will be to move about 25 rail cars that are currently in Coos Bay to the north side of the bridge on Friday April 26th and normal rail service will be restored to shippers south of the bridge early next week.  

The completion of this repair project has re-established connectivity from the North Spit to Coos Bay. Maintaining rail connectivity is vital to support movement of trade, help shippers remain competitive, support jobs along the line, and foster future business opportunities. 

In mid-April 2018, the bridge was rendered inoperable when two center support columns failed. The Port immediately notified local maritime stakeholders and rail shippers. Rail connectivity between the Port of Coos Bay and Eugene is critical for the economic wellbeing of many businesses in the area, and within two weeks, the Port set up a transload facility on the North Spit with the help of Jordan Cove LNG who provided the transload site (truck to rail). This ensured rail shippers south of the bridge the option to continue to use rail to transport their goods to market.  

The main repairs include replacing the center structural columns and bracing and repairing the electrical mechanical system bringing the bridge back to working conditions.  The Port has future capital improvement plans for the 100-year-old Coos Bay Swing Span bridge and those will be part of the bridge rehabilitation project made possible by the federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant the Port received in December of 2018

Safety is paramount to the Port and the Coos Bay Rail Line (CBRL) and no accidents or injuries occurred during the project. The Port would like to thank its contractors and vendors in getting the bridge returned to service. The Port also extends its appreciation to the CBRL’s rail shippers and the community for ongoing support throughout the project.

Since the Port took over ownership of the Coos Bay Swing Span bridge in 2010 the Port has made several necessary repairs due to years of deferred maintenance. Today, with the advantage of in-house operations, the Port is approaching maintenance and repairs in a programmatic manner tied to capital improvements.

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay and the Coos Bay Rail Line is as a vital link, connecting local manufacturer to regional, national and international markets. It directly supports an estimated 1,000 local jobs in Coos, Lane and Douglas counties. Rail connectivity is crucial for existing and future industries, resiliency efforts and planning. Ensuring the integrity of the entire line is significant to secure commerce, opportunity, and even aid. The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is dedicated to ensuring long-term viability of the swing span bridge and the Coos Bay Rail Line.

###

For additional media information, please contact:

Fiona Bai, Marketing & Media
Oregon International Port of Coos Bay
Phone: 541-266-3722
E-mail: fbai@portofcoosbay.com