So many bridges, so little time

With much due respect to your bridge-naming prowess, I believe in a previous Since You Asked column (published Nov. 16) that you guys missed at least four bridges over the Rogue River, not including Natural Bridge near Union Creek. Natural Bridge was made by (clue's in the name) nature. There's no vehicular traffic, so I'm not surprised you and ODOT overlooked it because you're highway kinds of people. The four other bridges are U.S. Forest Service, I believe, and again, probably overlooked by ODOT-thinking people. They are:

  • River Bridge (another one) on FS 6210 at the River Bridge campground
  • Woodruff Bridge on FS 68 near Abbott Creek campground
  • Stella Bridge on FS 6510 at Highway 230
  • A bridge on FS 6530 near Winnehaha and Hamaker campground


— Richard G., Shady Cove

Richard, we do not consider ourselves to be "highway kinds of people." We're much more like parking lot kinds of people ... all that asphalt, all those white lines — it just gives us chills.

We're not sure we're really feeling the "respect" you refer to, but we bow to your bridge knowledge. However — aha! — you missed a bridge that we missed, which is kind of like a double negative, so we're considering it a positive for us.

Both we and our knowledgeable source at the Oregon Department of Transportation missed an obvious one: Bybee Bridge, which carries Table Rock Road over the Rogue River near White City.

To make up for our oversight, here's a bit of history on the bridge's name: Bybee Bridge was named after William Bybee, who operated Bybee's Ferry from 1863 until 1886, when the first bridge was built.

Bybee, who was twice elected Jackson County sheriff, was apparently an ornery cuss and prone to taking pot shots at anyone who tried to ford the river without using his ferry. He served in the Oregon Volunteer Cavalry during the Civil War and in 1865 accompanied Capt. Franklin Sprague's company on one of the earliest trips ever made to Crater Lake.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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