The Astoria-Mergler Bridge – 50 Years!

We have visited Astoria, OR previously and viewed this bridge. But, this year, all year long, the Astoria-Megler Bridge is celebrating 50 years of service to the people of Oregon and Washington. We thought it deserved its own blog post!

This bridge extends across the Columbia River between Astoria, OR and Point Ellice near Megler, WA. It is located 14 miles from the mouth of the river and is 4.1 miles long. It was the last completed segment of U.S. Route 101 between Olympia, WA, and Los Angeles, CA. It is the longest continuous steel cantilever through truss bridge in North America.

When I visited Astoria I was looking to find sites from the Lewis and Clark Expedition which ended at the mouth of the Columbia River. Located on Cape Disappointment in Washington State is the 621 acre Lewis and Clark State Park. To get there from Oregon one must cross the bridge. It was a somewhat stormy day with clouds, fog, rain and wind when I headed across the bridge.

When the wind blows strongly enough here, the bridge sways perceptibly. It was a bit scary. But I was committed to getting to the Washington side and head to the L & C State Park. I ventured across probably frustrating those behind me at the slow pace I was going. 4 miles is a long way when the road underneath is moving side-to-side.

AstoriaBridge-1

Once across the bridge, the road takes a left turn to travel on a very scenic route that is mere feet away from the open ocean. Remember, though, it was a cloudy, rainy, foggy and windy day. The ocean came right up to meet you as the waves washed over the road. No huge waves but still lapping up onto the pavement. I drove for a short distance and then considered how much fun hiking in the state park in the rain and wind would be. Not much. I found a place to turn around and drove back through ocean waters to the bridge.

This bridge is very safe. It is designed to bend in the wind so to speak. I had just never been on a moving bridge before.

If you are on the Oregon Coast and near the northern tip of Oregon, visit Astoria with all of the many attractions there (check out 2 previous blog posts about Astoria). Don’t miss traveling across this unique bridge! It’s a fun experience even in the wind!

AstoriaBridge-2

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