Capitol Highway crossing the Oregon Electric Railway tracks.
Capitol Highway opened October 22, 1916, but the tracks of the Oregon Electric Railroad (today’s Multnomah Boulevard) remained unbridged until the viaduct opened October 1, 1927. This was an extremely dangerous crossing. Capitol Highway was a link in the Pacific Highway, the main automobile route between Canada and Mexico – the Interstate 5 of its day – and as many as sixty trains a day passed the crossing. The triangular building that most people think was shaped to accommodate the viaduct actually predates the viaduct.
An enlargement of the building on the left of the first photo shows the two Oregon Electric tracks, a circus advertisement, and the businesses wares – brick, tile, sand, gravel, lime, and cement. The brick may have come from the Hillsdale brickyard, located near the southwest corner of Capitol Highway and Terwilliger Boulevard.
Two railroad crossing signs, one placed by Multnomah County, the other by Goodrich B. F. Goodrich Company. The photographer’s (J. L. Campbell, Portland, Ore) mark is also visible.