Crown Point Viaduct Project

Project Completed. Restoration of the Crown Point Viaduct and portions of Historic Columbia River Highway completed.

Project Overview

A construction program that began in mid-July 2012 to restore the Crown Point Viaduct at Vista House and portions of the Historic Columbia River Highway was successfully completed earlier this month. Led by the Federal Highway Administration in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the project entailed restoration of the 600-foot viaduct surrounding Vista House, which is part of the Oregon State Parks system. The viaduct and its 29 support columns were deteriorating. Restoration was needed to avoid weight restrictions, which would keep tourist buses, RVís and other large vehicles off this section of the highway. The project also included restoration of portions of the Historic Highway between Larch Mountain Road and Latourell Falls.

Vista House Photo

The Crown Point Viaduct is an approximately 600-foot-long concrete structure located on the Historic Columbia River Highway adjacent to Vista House. The purpose of this structure is to carry the highway around the rock formation at Crown Point which was a serious obstacle to its construction in 1914. It includes a seven-foot-wide sidewalk, a foundation wall along the inside of the viaduct, and 29 support columns. The Crown Point Viaduct/Vista House complex provides over one million visitors each year an opportunity to experience exceptional views of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The Historic Columbia River Highway is one of only two roads in the United States designated as a National Historic Landmark, a National Scenic Byway, and a National Historic District.

While the focus was rehabilitation of the Crown Point Viaduct, the project also included restoration of portions of the Historic Highway between Larch Mountain Road and Crown Point and between Crown Point and Latourell Falls.

Nearly one hundred years old, the viaduct structure and retaining walls were deteriorating. If left unrepaired, the structure and walls could fail and have significant safety impacts, as well as result in loss of this historic structure. Without restoring and repairing the viaduct, Oregon Department of Transportation would most likely have needed to impose weight restrictions for vehicles, which could prevent buses, RVís and other large vehicles from traveling the Historic Highway and accessing Crown Point. Such access restrictions would have significant adverse effects on the local and regional economy.

Crown Point Viaduct Project Elements

Restoration activities included:

  1. Repair or replacement of viaduct columns and footings and reinforcement of structure edge beams;
  2. Repair and strengthening of the bottom of the viaduct deck;
  3. Repair of cracks in the top of the viaduct deck and parapet;
  4. Restoration of viaduct light fixtures and updating of electrical components;
  5. Repair of the masonry retaining wall beneath the viaduct structure and repair of the failing section of roadway;
  6. Restoration of the original curb height at the viaduct;
  7. Milling of the existing road pavement to reduce edge drop-offs, restoration of the historic gutter and placing a new pavement overlay throughout the limits of the project area;
  8. Restoration of guard rocks at three historic wall sites; and
  9. Rehabilitation of the rehabilitation of the upper west parking lot at Crown Point.

The viaduct restoration has been designed to maintain the original appearance as much as possible. Due to its historical nature, replacement of the structure was not considered an option because rehabilitation options were available. The color and texture of the rehabilitated structure and retaining walls are intentionally similar to the weathered original existing structure to the extent practical.

Content Sections

Map showing general vicinity of project
View a larger interactive map of the project area.

Project Details
Project # OR PFH 163(14)
Project Name Crown Point Viaduct Project
Location Multnomah County, OR
Status Completed
Awarded to Tapani Underground, Inc.
Award Date 14 June 2012
Award Amount $4,159,596.91
View Tabulation of Bids

Contact Information

Construction Contracting Website

Federal Highway Administration
Western Federal Lands Highway Division
610 East Fifth Street
Vancouver, WA 98661-3801