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Fred Redmon Bridge (Selah Creek Bridge) opens on November 2, 1971.
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On November 2, 1971, the Fred Redmon Memorial Bridge (Selah Creek Bridge) opens on Interstate 82 just north of Yakima. At the time the twin-arch bridge is the longest concrete arch bridge in North America. Together the two arches form the highest bridge in the state of Washington. The bridge is 1,337 feet long, and rises 325 feet above the canyon floor. The arch spans (excluding approach spans) are 549 feet long.
The twin concrete arches were erected by Peter Kiewit & Sons, and were honored as Grand Award winner for excellence in the use of concrete by the Washington Aggregates and Concrete Association in 1971.
In length of arch span, the Fred Redmon Bridge superseded the Cowlitz River Bridge in Mossyrock, Washington, as the longest concrete arch span in North America. The arch span of the Cowlitz River Bridge is 520 feet long. At the time the only bridge in the world with a longer arch span was Sweden's Sando Bridge (arch span 866 feet), built in 1943. As of 2005, Croatia's Kirk 1 Bridge, built in 1980, has the world's longest concrete arch (1,280 feet).
In 1993 two concrete arch bridges with longer arch spans were built in the United States: the Lake Street Bridge in St. Paul, Minnesota (556-foot arch) and the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge in Franklin, Tennessee (582-foot arch).
Fred Redmon was an original member and the first chair of the Highway Commission, formed in 1951 to oversee the Department of Highways. He was present at the dedication of the bridge named in his honor.
Paul Dorpat and Genevieve McCoy, Building Washington: a History Of Washington State Public Works (Seattle: Tartu Publications, 1998), 133; Washington State Department of Transportation 2002 Bridge List (Publication M 23-09), wsdot website (http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/FASC/ EngineeringPublications/Manuals/BridgeList2002.pdf); "Concrete Arch Bridges" in Major Bridges/Science and Technology, Factophile website accessed June 29, 2005 (http://www.factophile.com).
Note: This essay was corrected on June 30, 2005.
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