Friday, June 19, 2009

Astoria - Megler Bridge: Astoria, Oregon

Quote from Wikipedia:

"The Astoria-Megler Bridge is a continuous truss bridge that spans the mouth of the Columbia River between Astoria, Oregon and Point Ellice near Megler, Washington, in the United States. The span was the last segment of U.S. Route 101 between Olympia, Washington and Los Angeles, California.[1] It is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America."

"The bridge is 21,474 ft (6,545 m) in length[4] and carries one lane of traffic in each direction. The main span is closest to the Oregon side and measures 1,232 feet (376 m) long.[2] The bridge was built to withstand 150 mph (240 km/h) wind gusts and river speeds of 9 mph (14 km/h).[1] As of 2004, an average of 7,100 vehicles per day use the Astoria-Megler Bridge.[5] Designed by William A. Bugee, construction of the cantilever truss bridge was completed by the DeLong Corporation, the American Bridge Company, and Pomeroy Gerwick.[6]

Pedestrians are prohibited from the bridge[7] except during the annual bridge walk called the "Great Columbia Crossing".[8] Bicycles are permitted on the bridge in both Oregon[9] and Washington.[10]"

We are heading northbound on Hwy 101 and finally get a glimpse of "the Bridge"


We have travelled over this bridge before and whenever some one mentions the name Astoria then images of this bridge comes to mind


It is the longest 3 truss continuous span bridge in the world which spans Oregon and Washington states over the Columbia River.


There is but a single lane in each direction and pedestrian traffic is forbidden, but bicyclists are allowed


There is a long cloverleaf to access the main span and heading northbound you are to maneuver over to the left lane


Eventually we are trapped within the confines of its steel structure


This bridge is approx 6.5 kms (~ 4 miles) long, and Washington State beckons on the opposite side of the Columbia River


It seems like a long way to the other side, but I am sure nothing like the Great Ocean Highway which spans the Mainland southbound towards Key West, FL


When you finally arrive on the Washington side you are greeted with this directional sign


I am sure that this was an engineering marvel when it was completed in the 1960's

City of Bay Ocean, Oregon:

I am sure that I have mentioned my love for "places Lost" . This includes Ghost Towns and places from the historic past. A few years ago we noticed this sign on the 3 Cape Loop which is just West of Tillumook, OR. It is an interesting story of a city which failed and was swallowed by the Ocean during violent storms. There are pictures of the City on the "web" and its history makes for interesting reading. I will leave it to you to do further research if you are interested. There is nothing left except a park which is accessed by a rough dirt and gravel road.


Spotted: interesting Coffee Pot near Arlington, WA:



  1. It's not a bad bridge as such things go. I prefer the warm waters underneath the overseas highway but that's just me. I love summer in the Keys. Thats why I'm going away!

  2. Cool Bridge, kinda reminds me of the older bridges that span the San Francisco Bay area.....

  3. Hi Bob,

    Great photos, and yes I would agree with you definitely an engineering marvel.

  4. Nice post Bob - been over the bridge a couple of times, and it is pretty amazing. I'll have to ride up to Arlington to see the Coffee Pot.

  5. It's interesting that the long bridge into Washington seems easier to navigate than the shorter one over Young's Bay. That's the drawbridge you would have crossed coming into Astoria from the South.

    The Young's Bay bridge always seems to have strong and tricky winds on it. Did you go up to the Astoria Column?

  6. Dear Bobskoot:

    Once again you manage to treat the eye with intriguing photography and the barest minimum of commentary, for a most compelling post.

    This bridge looks somewhat dainty at a distance, balanced on two spindly pylon legs. Yet the steel work becomes substantially more impressive as you close in on it.

    The history of that town was pretty exciting too. It's like a kind of Centralia, Pa, in that it was consumed by nature, but in an unnatural way.
    I envy you this trip tonight. I had a very tough day and want only to head outside, get in my truck, and smoke a cigar while driving around, listening to music.

    What Ireally want to do is smoke a stogie looking out over the water... And there is open water here.

    What a pity. Maybe next week.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack "R"

  7. Was that you who e-mailed me the phone number? We had a power surge. One minute I was opening the message and the next it was totally gone!

  8. Conchscooter:
    One of these days I too shall experience the warmer waters underneath the overseas highway

    There are also a couple of neat bridges on the loop roads that parallel Hwy 101, like Otter crest Loop where they still have some segments of the original road

    Sorry I have been MIA since my vacation and trying to get caught up with my reading. Its been non-stop every weekend with car related events. Glad you had a nice trip and made it home safely, with lots of memories

    Perhaps one weekend when we are both free, I can ride down to Arlington and show you where it is.

    On the coast there is practically a bridge around every corner, or a built up bridge along the sides of the cliffs but you are only able to see a few of them from the sides. From the top they look like any other superslab. Didn't know anything about the Astoria Column, will have to wait for the next time.

    It wasn't me with the phone number, but I was very tempted to travel to Albany to look you up, but I figured you would be away at work. I would phone you first. Jack "r" is threatening to come to Oregon next year and if he does I will make the trip to meet up with him.

    Jack "r"IEPE:
    I am gravitating more to the Key West style of lots of pictures with few words, unlike yourself . . . Hmm, truck, radio . . . Trade that K75 in for a GOLDWING. you get the radio, GPS navigation, CB, and reverse, but no auto retracting side stand.

  9. Pics wonderfully convey the length and scope of the bridge--the lane for the bicycles sure looks narrow--hope that's just the camera's eye.

    The lost city is intriguing. I share your interest in such places. I would love to engage in a project that found former residents and interviewed them on life in the old city.

    Nice post!

  10. BTW, that coffee pot is worth riding to Arlington to see and photograph!


  11. Sharon:

    The history of the underground railway intrigues me too. There are a lot of abandoned towns here in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) created by the gold rush then left to the elements. I have discovered a few of them. Of course the most famous one is Barkerville, which has been restored and is a tourist destination. Sandon is in the process of being restored and was a Japanese interment camp during the war. I found Phoenix which is on the top of a mountain and was originally the terminus of 3 railroads. The City of Bay Ocean was orignally an upscale resort for the "well healed". Originally there was a ferry from Long Beach, WA. That also reminds me of a town on the top of a mountain in BC called Walachin which is close to Cache Creek. On my travels I always take the road less travelled to find history. Sometimes I know about it before I get there, and other times I find information after I get back home

  12. Bit of odd trivia: the Astoria-Megler was filmed for the little-known Irwin Allen 1979 TV-disaster movie "The Night The Bridge Fell Down." Naturally, miniatures were substituted for the onscreen collapse, and the bridge was renamed "Madison Bridge" to avoid negative association.