Original Mashel River bridge

Mashel River Bridge
Mashel River Bridge

Steve Burwash took this shot of the original Mashel River Bridge.

Tim Daubert says, “In 1981 the bridge above was torched by an arsonist and was re-built so it looks a bit different today and is still used occasionally by the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad.”

Ray Weber adds, “It burned twice in 1981.”

Image courtesy of Martin Burwash.

Click on image to enlarge.

(Current) Mashel River Bridge
(Current) Mashel River Bridge

2 responses to “Original Mashel River bridge”

  1. As part of the inspection and re-rating of this structure, I have been researching documents related to its construction. I was able to contact the former owner of the company that was hired by Weyerhaeuser to repair this bridge. The fire (arson) may have been contained to the timber portion of the bridge at the north end (to the left and out of view in both photos), and possibly to the triple-timber pile support under the south end of the steel plate girder span, as the contractor was hired to repair/replace only those sections. The support under the steel span was replaced with the concrete pier you see in the second photo. During the project, the contractor unintentionally set the remainder of the timber pile structure on fire. Under a separate contract (via their insurance company), the remainder of the bridge was replaced with the concrete structure you see today. The initial construction took place during 1982, with the concrete spans completed in 1983 (it is marked as such).

    As a side note, timbers salvaged from this bridge were used to construct Van Eaton’s auto dealership building, currently the “Shaken Bar and Bistro.”

    Brian Wise
    Mt. Rainier Railroad & Logging Museum


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