1966: The Debut of a Record-Setting Truss Bridge Between Oregon and Washington

August 27, 1966

The Astoria-Megler Bridge, which had been jointly built by the Oregon State Highway Department (now the Oregon Department of Transportation) and the Washington State Highway Department (the present-day Washington State Department of Transportation) made its official debut. This steel cantilever through-truss bridge spans the Columbia River between the city of Astoria, Oregon, and Point Ellice (located near the community of Megler, Washington).

The Saturday afternoon dedication ceremonies for the 4.1-mile (6.6-kilometer)-long structure were attended by approximately 8,000 people. The public officials on hand for the ceremonies included Governors Mark Hatfield of Oregon and Dan Evans of Washington. Both governors, along with Miss Oregon (Lita Schiel) and Miss Washington (Sandra Lee Marth), cut a ribbon on a pair of swinging doors to formally open the bridge. 

The opening of the Astoria-Megler Bridge closed the final gap of U.S. Highway 101 between Los Angeles and Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. In addition, that structure has the distinction of being the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. Another claim to fame for the Astoria-Megler Bridge is that it has been featured in several movies, including Short Circuit, Kindergarten Cop, and The Goonies.

Photo Credit: Ron Reiring (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en)

For more information on the Astoria-Megler Bridge, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astoria%E2%80%93Megler_Bridge

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