The bridge in this post card was designed by the famous architect, Ralph Modjeski, the chief engineer for the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge which began construction in 1933. The Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company built the bridge by cantilevering it out from rock walls on both sides of the canyon.
The crossing of the Crooked River played a critical role in the competition to build a railroad up the Deschutes River Valley. The incentive for railroad construction was reaching the vast stands of timber south of Bend. The Oregon Trunk Railway, owned by Jim Hill of the Great Northern Railway, started up the west side of the Deschutes. In the meantime the Des Chutes Railroad, owned by Edward Harriman of the Union Pacific, started up the east side. At 126 miles both railroads had to cross a major tributary of the Deschutes, the Crooked River. There was only one place where the cliffs on both sides were close enough to build a bridge. Jim Hill had obtained the rights to the location when his Oregon Trunk Railroad acquired the Central Oregon Railroad Company on December 1, 1909. The Central Oregon had laid no track and the rights to the bridge site were its principal asset. Hill's acquisition of the location forced Harriman to negotiate a settlement whereby the Oregon Trunk would own almost the entire line from the Columbia to Bend but Harriman's company would have the right to use the track.
Through a series of mergers the rail line and the bridge has become part of the BNSF Railway. The Union Pacific still has the right to use the track.
This is what the bridge looks like today: