Spanning the Columbia River fourteen miles of its mouth, the impressive Astoria-Megler Bridge, also known as Columbia River (Astoria) Bridge connects the western part of Astoria and 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. Constructed in August 1966, the bridge is the 28-foot (8.5 m) wide and 4.07-mile (6.54 km) long. At the time of completion, the bridge was the longest continuous truss bridge in the world. Today, the Astoria-Megler Bridge is the longest truss bridge in North America.
The bridge was built for the purpose of a ferry service substitution. It was a recurring risk to rely on the ferry due to inconsistent weather variations and instability of the tides. The Astoria Bridge was conceptualized and designed by William A. Bugge, purposely built to overcome the Pacific strong wind speed that can reach 150 miles per hour (240 km/hr) and river current of 9 miles per hour (14 km/hr). The clearance below is 196 feet, so the large ships can pass beneath the bridge.
Region: Astoria • North Oregon Coast • USA
Nearest Town: Astoria
Architectural Design: Cantilever Through-Truss
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 Vehicle only
Daily Traffic: 7,100
GPS coordinates: 46.2, -123.855
Though skeptics called this bridge a "bridge to nowhere", but, actually, the bridge carries busy traffic, approximately 7,100 vehicles a day.
Typically, the only motor vehicle and bicycles are allowed to cross the bridge. However, during an annual event Great Columbia Crossing that takes place in October, there is a unique opportunity to cross the bridge walking or running. The shuttle service takes registered participants the Washington side, from where the race starts.