Originally, the Municipal Railway had planned to build its own drawbridge over the Duwamish. The plan proved too expensive, however. The city had purchased the streetcar system from Puget Sound Light, Traction and Power in 1919 and the system was heavily encumbered with debt. The city engineer agreed to include streetcar tracks in the design of both of the permanent bascule spans.
On June 11, 1978, the north span was permanently damaged when the freighter Chavez crashed into it. A new higher bridge was constructed, which opened in July 1984.