The Inauguration of a Record-Setting Bridge in the Pacific Northwest

March 29, 1930

The Longview Bridge, spanning the Columbia River, was officially opened. This structure serves as a link between the cities of Longview, Washington, and Rainier, Oregon. The bridge was designed by structural engineer Joseph Strauss, who also played a major role in the creation of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in California.

The Longview Bridge is 2,722 feet (830 meters) in length, and its top portion is 340 feet (104 meters) above the Columbia River. At the time of its opening, this vehicular bridge was both the longest and highest cantilever truss bridge in the United States. (The above photo depicts the bridge in the year of its debut.)

The Longview Bridge was a privately owned bridge until 1947, when the state government of Washington purchased it. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Two years earlier, this bridge had been renamed in honor of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. During the course of a historic expedition in 1804-06, Lewis and Clark led a unit of military and civilian volunteers from what is now Illinois to present-day Oregon to explore the territory that the U.S. had recently acquired through the Louisiana Purchase.

For more information on the Lewis and Clark Bridge (formerly known as the Longview Bridge), please check out https://structurae.net/en/structures/lewis-and-clark-bridge

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