The 2,807-foot (856 m) long bridge has a swing span, which pivots on its base to allow for the passage of taller ships. The bridge carries two railroad tracks, which are used by BNSF, Union Pacific Railroad, and Amtrak. It is one of only two surviving swing-span bridges in the Portland metropolitan area, which once had several bridges of that type. The other survivor is another BNSF bridge located nearby, on the same line and built at the same time, the Oregon Slough Railroad Bridge (also known as BNSF Railway Bridge 8.8). The 9.6 in the name is the distance, in miles, from Portland's Union Station, the same as for Bridge 5.1 (across the Willamette River) and Bridge 8.8 on the same line.