Jimi Hendrix Clara McCarty Captain Robert Gray Anna Louise StrongAnna Louise Strong Bailey Gatzert Home WWII Women Pilots
Search Encyclopedia
Facebook
Advanced Search
Featured Eassy Sponsor of the Week Book Store Donate Now
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
6857 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donate Subscribe

Shortcuts

Libraries
Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search

Features

Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Everett
Olympia
Seattle
Spokane
Tacoma
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

West Seattle Bridge is dedicated on July 14, 1984.

HistoryLink.org Essay 8167 : Printer-Friendly Format

On July 14, 1984, the West Seattle Bridge is dedicated. This six-lane cantilevered concrete structure is more than  150 feet high and cost $150 million to build.  The bridge spans Harbor Island and the Duwamish Waterway at the point it enters Elliott Bay. In 2009 the City of Seattle will rename the bridge the Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge (as a secondary designation).

Controversial from the outset, the bridge's construction was made inevitable when on June 11, 1978, the freighter Chavez, piloted by Rolf Neslund, rammed its predecessor bascule bridge and permanently damaged it. A lower pivot-wing bridge was later built to connect West Seattle and Harbor Island.

The need for a high bridge at this crossing, where the Duwamish Waterway enters Elliott Bay, was long debated. The Port of Seattle pushed for the project in order to open the Duwamish to larger vessels. Citizen opponents put a referendum on the Seattle ballot but voters endorsed the project. The project was owned and managed by the City of Seattle.

In 1985 the bridge won a Honorable Mention Award from the Consulting Engineers Council of Washington. In 2009 the City renamed it for Jeanette Williams (1914-2008), a long-time city councilmember who worked hard to get the bridge built. The "Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge" is a secondary designation, meaning that the new name will have signage on either side of the bridge, but that maps and signs on Interstate 5 will continue to call it the West Seattle Bridge.

Sources:
Craig Holstine and Richard Hobbs, Spanning Washington: Historic Highway Bridges of the Evergreen State (Pullman: WSU Press, 2005), 156; "West Seattle Bridge," Bridgepros website accessed October 22, 2007 (http://bridgepros.com/projects/West_Seattle_Bridge/); "West Seattle Bridge to Bear Jeanette Williams' Name," The Seattle Times, July 13, 2009 (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/).
Note: This essay was corrected on October 22, 2007, and updated on July 22, 2009.


Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Special Suite: Bridges |

Related Topics: Roads & Rails |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License


Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You




West Seattle bridge, September 2001
Photo by Priscilla Long


New high-level West Seattle Bridge nearing completion in 1983
Courtesy West Seattle Herald


 
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org