By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Council to hear report on bridge

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Glad to hear they are going to replace that bridge! I remember walking my dog down at Joe Dancer Park a few years ago and ending up by the river in a place where I could see the underside of the bridge. It was pretty unsettling to see what looked (to my untrained eye) to be just a random assortment of old worn out timbers that holds it up....especially given the amount of traffic that goes across it every day. Glad to hear the experts have been monitoring it and are on top of getting it replaced.


Tom, Not to quibble, but is their maybe a typo in the first sentence of this article? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "construction of the Three Mile Lane Bridge over the South Yamhill River"??


I love ya Tom, and hate to sound petty, but I think paragraph three could use a little refinement too. I don't think the bridge is crossed by three mile lane. I think the river is crossed by the bridge and the name of the road is Three Mile Lane.


And don't be afraid to open up an account and interact with us here in the comments a little bit. I know their is something to be said for "keeping your professional distance" but I think I speak for all of us here when I say it's kinda cool when you NR folks take the time to interact a bit with us comments section inhabitants.


I wonder if when they construct the bridge they can do something to make it not so attractive to homeless to sleep under? A few small design additions would make it not an accommodating place to sleep and do drugs.

Jeb Bladine


We always appreciate a focus on small details, which often are a challenge in reporting. So, just thought I'd chime in:

As per State of Oregon documents, this is the South Yamhill River Bridge Replacement project. And when Tom wrote, "The bridge, which is crossed by Three Mile Lane," I think it was intended to mean that we cross the bridge via Three Mile Lane, making that an example of a phrase with multiple potential meanings.

But it gets more interesting, since historically that stretch of roadway was called the "Three Mile Lane Spur." I find that in the 1981 city ordinance designating the long-term development project for the Three Mile Lane area. And the state says this project "will replace the South Yamhill River Bridge located on the OR 18 spur section at milepost 46.66," while another source calls it the "South Yamhill River, McMinnville Spur (Three Mile Lane) Bridge Replacement."

Google maps, meanwhile, have come to label that connecting strip of roadway going across the bridge simply as Three Mile Lane, not Three Mile Lane Spur. There's a house on that stretch, so I think I'll look up what the Post Office thinks about the name of that address.

And after all that, for what it's worth, like you, I probably tend toward calling it the Three Mile Lane Bridge!


Thanks, Jeb. I love the details! You're a man after my own heart! :)


The old timers call that “three mile lane.” I’ve always called the stretch highway 18 but some maps even mention highway 18 as “salmon river highway.” Which is weird because the sign for the bypass in Newberg as it goes off springbrook road says the bypass is called salmon river highway. Why the inconsistency?

Jeb Bladine


Highway 18 runs from Newberg to the coast near Lincoln City, sometimes overlapping in short stretches with highways 99W, 221 and 223. It now terminates at the end of the Newberg-Dayton Bypass at Highway 229, so the bypass itself is considered a stretch of Highway 18.

Historically, Highway 18 has been called the Salmon River Highway because the Salmon River and Little Salmon River meander along the roadway from outside Grand Ronde to the coast, where the Salmon River flows into the Pacific Ocean northwest of Otis and south of Neskowin.

Thus, though confusing, accurate outside Newberg to tell drivers they are taking the Salmon River Highway as the bypass to the other side of Dundee.

A New Generation

Jeb, loved the historic references and attention to detail!
Folks coming into the Yamhill-Carlton area have always been confused to never leave the roadway yet find themselves once they've turned off Hwy. 240, onto Kuehne Road, which becomes Hendricks Road, and finally both East & West Main Street! Then magically they're on Meadowlake. Go figure!

Don Dix

Jeb -- I don't recall when the 'new highway 18' was constructed, but the Old Sheridan Road was the original route to Delake, Oceanlake, and Taft (now part of Lincoln City) -- it joined what is now part of 18 at the the old Pine Tree Patio (but there was no 18 then) -- and that old route took you through Sheridan and Willamina. Long trip!

Jeb Bladine

I also have trouble remembering when that 18-bypass was built around McMinnville, probably because it was when you and I were in high school! Here's an interest site with history of the whole 18 roadway system:


I remember as a kid a bunch of poplar trees alongside the roadway I think by where the hospital is now going all the way to Cruikshank Road. Was it highway 18 in those days or “3 mile lane?” Does anyone else remember those trees? And does anyone know when highway came in? It seems they originally meant to make it wide but never got around to it.

Don Dix

Yes, there were many Popular trees along 3 Mile Lane, and very little else but the airport.

Highway 18 was routed away from Sheridan & Willamina in 1957 (from what I found). The same report also says the bypass around Mac was built in 1963 (about the same time that Baker St. in Mac became one way).

One interesting fact -- when 18 was constructed (1932), the trip to from Dayton to Otis was 44 miles -- and today the trip is nearly 53 miles.

This site also has a more practical approach to the Newberg - Dundee bypass, which would have begun @ Dayton and ended up on Rex Hill.

Don Dix

'Poplar trees", sorry.


Thanks for these reminiscences. It's neat to hear older, life long residents of Mac talk about where and how things were back in the old days.
I wish the NR had a regular feature that takes a walk down memory lane...kind of like Starla's "stopping by" column but more focused on local history.

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