Oregon Highway Department completes Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River on August 27, 1966.

  • By Priscilla Long
  • Posted 3/05/2005
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 7263
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On August 27, 1966, the Oregon Highway Department completes the Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River. It is the longest continuous three-span through-truss bridge in the world. It crosses the Columbia River linking Oregon to Washington, and completes US 101 between Washington and southern California.

Joining States

The Astoria-Megler Bridge was a joint project of the highway departments of Washington and Oregon. It stretches from Point Ellice, Washington, across the mouth of the Columbia River to Astoria, Oregon, a distance of 4.1 miles.

The bridge's main span is 1,232 feet. It is a steel-truss bridge with approaches made of pre-stressed concrete beam spans set on concrete piers. It is a through-truss bridge, meaning that the structure is cross-braced both below the roadway and above the traffic.

The bridge replaced a ferry that began operating in 1921 between Astoria on the Oregon side and Megler on the Washington side. In 1946, the Oregon State Highway Department took over operation of the ferry.

Sources: Oregon Departmen of Transportation website (http://www.odot.state.or.us/ssbpublic/ BSS/rmds/photos/b_astoria.htm); Astoria & Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce website (http://www.oldoregon.com/Pages/AstoriaBridge.html).
Note: This essay was corrected on September 7, 2005.

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