The West Coast


While the King Bridge Company did reach with west coast with their sales efforts and built a number of important bridges in these states, nothing remains of these efforts as far as we know.
The King Bridge Company built this 400-foot single span cantilever bridge in 1892. It was held to be one of the longest cantilever spans in the United States at the turn of the century and probably one of the early steel bridges of its kind in the northwest. By crossing the Williamette River at Albany, the bridge played a major role in completing a vital road connection between Eugene in the south and Salem and Portland in the north as well as establishing Albany as an important center of interchange between river and road traffic. Its completion was the cause of much celebration by the local populace, for “it was wide enough for two horse and buggies to pass.”[1] It was replaced in 1924.

See the Six Great Bridges article in the HISTORY section for more details.

In the company catalogues of the 1890s, there were two bridges pictured, this swing bridge in Oakland, similar in design to swing bridges built in a number of eastern states and —

–a single span Pratt truss in Sonoma County. Both of these bridges no longer exist and we know of no other King bridges still standing west of the Rockies.


Bridge historian Jim Stewart has found pictures of an elegant 190 foot bowstring span in Reno, Nevada built in 1877 by “King & Wheelock” (Zenas’s nephews George King and George Wheelock, nephew of Zenas’s wife, Miranda) across the Truckee River. The bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1950. During its heyday, it was apparently used to hang outlaws.


King Bridge Manufacturing Company, News