Foots Creek Provides Crushed Rock for Interstate 5

May 21, 2014

It was a dangerous drive up Foots Creek between the towns of Rogue River and Gold Hill, Ore., in 1961. A continuous stream of huge dump trucks carried crushed creek rock at the rate of 500 tons an hour, 16 hours a day for construction of Interstate 5.  One accident seriously injured a driver without damage to the truck.

Seven crushers processed rock dredged from the bed of Foots Creek, which was washed and delivered by mammoth carry-alls into two dump trucks at a time, each carrying 75,000 pounds. It was one of the largest rock crushing operations in the West.

Foots Creek had long been a gold mining region, so the rock washing included separation of gold from the gravel.  The gold recovered from this process was shipped under state control to be refined, with proceeds split between the State of Oregon that owned the creek bed and the contractor that extracted the gold.

Although the value of the gold is unknown, it was a unique way to help finance a highway.


Source: "Biggest Gravel Operation in West on Foots Creek Now." The Times 21 Apr. 1961 [Rogue River, Ore.].