Check the calendar for upcoming Build It! workshops, BridgeStories performances, and other bridge-related events. Scroll down to learn how to bring The Bridge Lady to a venue near you!

A Storytelling Slideshow


The Bridge Lady presents rare and unusual images in this 55-minute collection of music, video clips, and stories. See singing, sheep-carrying, cable-stayed, glassed-in, lighted, and skyscraping bridges from all over the world, as well as the oldest operating vertical lift bridge and the only double lift bridge of its kind in engineering history—of these, all but the Swinging Sheep Bridge found in Portland and Vancouver harbors. Special discount to school groups and nonprofits. For rate information email

Praise for BridgeStories

I have had a wonderful experience with Sharon coming and doing the Bridgestories with our third grade children at Irvington. The Bridgestories presentation is a great way to begin or end a unit on bridges. I highly recommend it.

Susan Germundson

Irvington Elementary

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WOW! “BridgeStories—A Storytelling Slide Show” was Awesome. Ms. Wortman's timing of her program was perfect. The 3-dimensional bridge models she put on display kept drawing audience members. Not one person left with a question unanswered. Members of our group said, "This is the best program we’ve had in years.” The two books she offered for sale were first-class and more then reasonable.

Larry Reimers

Programmer, Seasoned Adult Enrichment Program Clackamas Community College

Sharon Wood Wortman’s BridgeStories program was a great success at our library!  Everyone loved it! All of the comments that we received on the program evaluation forms were positively glowing!

Alison Arnold

Tigard Public Library

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Build It! Bridge Building and Load Testing Workshop


For all ages: Anyone can build and load test Portland and Vancouver truss spans using the step-by-step instructions and patterns found in The Big & Awesome Bridges of Portland & Vancouver (pages 201-220). Build it! is the ultimate hands on activity to get younger students excited about the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) concepts they will be introduced to in middle school and later. For pricing and other details, please contact us.


For teachers looking for more support, The Bridge Lady is available for classroom visits to help get bridge building and load testing started. TBL also furnishes some supplies, including glue guns. Fee varies, depending on number of classrooms and equipment furnished.


Note to businesses and organizations: Build it! is a great team building tool for employees and/or volunteers, no matter what they make, distribute, or sell. (All supplies furnished.) 

On “Take your kids to work day,” our unit put together some word games and enlarged the truss outlines in The Big & Awesome Bridges of Portland & Vancouver. We set the patterns all out on the table, and the children had a great time building trusses! We didn’t have a glue gun, and the glue wasn’t drying well, so we used large staplers. We were expecting about 10 children, but ended up with over 30! I let them know that their parent (or grandparent in several cases) could check the book out (from the ODOT Library) and take it home for them to work on more designs.

Laura Wilt

Librarian, Oregon Dept. of Transportation Library, Salem, April 28, 2015

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The Big & Awesome Bridges of Portland & Vancouver—A Book for Young Readers is so visually appealing that I looked through it and came across the templates in the bridge building and load testing section. WOW! It's like the whole library program was planned for me. There were 22 participants, 4 teen volunteers, myself facilitating and 2 staff helping intermittently. 


I followed the book's recommendation pretty much word for word. We used low-temp hot glue guns . . . . I followed the directions exactly, and it worked like magic. I have never come across such clear instructions before that were SO easy to use. Especially the settings for the photocopier, which can often be frustrating when winging it on your own.


As it was, an hour was enough time for everyone to finish the one bridge without a ton of embellishments . . . . You know they're having fun if they don't want to leave. 


Thank you again for making such an amazing resource for us librarians and teachers. It's clear there was so much thought put into the book as a learning tool that is both exciting and useful. I hope you and your team realize how easy the instructions were to follow, and how little planning someone like me had to do!

Amy Miller

Librarian, April 2015

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© 2015 Urban Adventure Press and PDX Bridge Festival, Inc.


Workshop led by Amy Miller