Tucked away in the picturesque Pacific Northwest, Washington State is home to both amazing man-made architectural marvels and breath-taking natural scenery. Washington’s bridges are mind-boggling wonders of engineering that span high over rivers and connect people over great distances. Let’s examine Washington’s five tallest bridges!
5. Fairfax Bridge (250 feet)
Situated in Pierce County, the Fairfax Bridge crosses the Carbon River via State Route 165. At a height of 250 feet (76.7 meters) above the river, the deck of Fairfax Bridge ranks seventh among Washington’s bridges.
Constructed in 1921, Fairfax Bridge is a single-lane, three-hinged arch bridge made of steel lattices. For the people of the isolated hamlet of Fairfax, the bridge served as a key means of transit connecting them to the outside world. The National Register of Historic Places includes the Fairfax Bridge. At Melmont, Washington, it crosses the Carbon River at a 494-foot stretch.
4. Fred G. Redmon Bridge (325 feet)
1971 saw the opening of the Fred G. Redmon Bridge. Its name pays tribute to Yakima native Fred G. Redmon, a former chairman of the Washington State Highway Commission and member of the Washington State Senate.
This twin-arch bridge spans Selah Creek between Yakima and Ellensburg and is home to Interstate 82. When it was built in 1971, the 325-foot-tall (99.1-meter) Fred G. Redmon Bridge was the largest concrete arch bridge in North America. The bridge is 1,337 feet (408 meters) long overall. The bridge’s longest span is 549 feet (167 meters) long.
3. Vance Creek Bridge (347 feet)
Vance Creek Bridge is the second-highest railroad arch in the United States, rising 247 feet (105.8 meters) above the ground in the Satsop Hills near Shelton. The bridge was constructed in 1929 for the Simpson Logging Company and was taken out of use in the 1970s. The bridge is off-limits to the public because of the risks it presents to thrill-seekers and photographers.
The largest span of the 827-foot-long Vance Creek Bridge is 422 feet long. The bridge is now owned by the Green Diamond Resource Company. The bridge will not be destroyed or restored, according to the company’s plans. Still, there’s been discussion of maybe renovating it for a nearby bungee-jumping business.
2. Hoffstadt Creek Bridge (370 feet)
At 370 feet (106.7 meters) high, the Hoffstadt Creek Bridge is the second-highest bridge in Washington. At 600 feet (182.9 meters) across in its main span, it is the longest deck truss bridge in the state. The bridge, which is on the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway close to Toutle, opened for traffic in 1991. It took the place of an older road that the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption had destroyed. Perched above the Toutle River’s north branch is the Hoffstadt Creek Bridge. Because of this, it is safe from debris and floods.
1. High Steel Bridge (375 feet)
The highest bridge in Washington State, the High Steel Bridge, spans the south fork of the Skokomish water close to Shelton. Its deck soars 375 feet (114.3 meters) above the water! Built in 1929, this engineering marvel was a product of the Simpson Logging Company. Most logging bridges during the period were made of wood and were only meant to be temporary. The Simpson Logging Company, however, believed that investing in a permanent steel bridge would be worthwhile. For many years, the bridge was a vital lumber delivery route.
The High Steel Bridge is still the highest railroad bridge ever constructed in the United States as of right now! It is now a 685-foot road for automobiles rather than a railway. Situated amidst the Olympic National Forest of Washington, the High Steel Bridge is a renowned attraction. Because of the amazing views of the lush forests and Skokomish River below, the area attracts a lot of photographers and hikers.