• The Astoria-Megler Bridge is the longest truss bridge in North America
• The bridge hosts Great Columbia Crossing 10k Run/Walk event

Historical Landmarks OregonPhotographing

The impressive Astoria-Megler Bridge, also known as the Columbia River (Astoria) Bridge, spans the Columbia River fourteen miles from its mouth. It connects the western part of Astoria to Point Ellice in the state of Washington.

The bridge became the final segment of Highway 101 in the continuous route between the Mexican and Canadian borders. Opened in August 1966, the bridge is 28 feet (8.5 m) wide and 4.07 miles (6.54 km) long, with a clearance of 196 feet. Large ships can pass beneath it.

It was the longest continuous truss bridge in the world until the Ikitsuki Bridge in Japan was built in 1991. Today, the Astoria-Megler Bridge is the longest truss bridge in North America and the second longest in the world.

The bridge was built to substitute a ferry service. Relying on the ferries was risky due to inconsistent weather and the instability of the tides. The Astoria Bridge was conceptualized and designed by William A. Bugge, purposely built to overcome the Pacific's strong wind speed that can reach 150 miles per hour (240 km/hr) and river current of 9 miles per hour (14 km/hr).

Though skeptics called this bridge "Bridge to Nowhere", it carries very busy traffic of approximately 7,100 vehicles a day. In fact, it far exceeded the initial expectations.

Typically, only motor vehicles and bicycles are allowed to cross the bridge. However, during an annual Great Columbia Crossing Event which takes place in October, there is a unique opportunity to cross the bridge walking or running. The shuttle service takes registered participants to a start point on the Washington side.

Megler Bridge - Astoria

Astoria-Megler Bridge | Facts

Built: 1966
Architectural Design: Cantilever Through-Truss
River: Columbia

Total Length: 4,067 miles (20 m)
Width: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Number of Spans: 8
The Longest Span: 1,232 ft (6.54 km)
Clearance Below: 196 ft (60 m)

Access: Motor Vehicles only

Daily Traffic: 7,100
Toll: None

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