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The Multnomah Falls Historic Highway Inspired by the Swiss Alps

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

The Historic Columbia River Highway: A Marvel of Engineering and Design


Constructed in the early 20th century, the Historic Columbia River Highway was a revolutionary feat of engineering and design. Built under the direction of Sam Hill, the highway offered drivers a scenic route along the Columbia River and through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.


The construction of the highway was a complex process that required the use of innovative techniques and a deep understanding of the rugged terrain. The highway was built to follow the natural contours of the land, with curves and switchbacks allowing for a smoother and safer journey. The engineers and builders worked tirelessly to create bridges and tunnels that blended seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, adding to the beauty of the journey.


One of the most impressive features of the highway is the stunning arch bridges that were built to cross the Columbia River and its tributaries. These bridges, made of reinforced concrete, were designed to withstand the strong winds and currents of the river, while still offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.


The Historic Columbia River Highway quickly became a popular tourist destination, drawing thousands of visitors each year. The scenic route offered drivers a glimpse into the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge and the surrounding mountains, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.


In addition to its beauty, the highway also played an important role in the region's transportation network, serving as a crucial link between Portland and the agricultural communities along the Columbia River. The highway was also a major factor in the development of the Columbia River Gorge as a popular recreation area, with numerous parks and scenic areas established along its length.


The Historic Columbia River Highway is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the engineers and builders who created it. With its stunning scenery, innovative design, and important transportation role, the highway remains one of the most remarkable and beloved landmarks of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or simply a traveler looking for a scenic drive, the Historic Columbia River Highway is a must-visit destination.



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