Blue Bridge (Washington)

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Blue Bridge
Blue Bridge over the Columbia River.png
Official name Pioneer Memorial Bridge
Carries Four lanes of US 395
Crosses Columbia River
Locale Kennewick-Pasco, Washington
Maintained by Washington State Dept. of Transportation
Design Through arch shaped Truss bridge
Material Concrete/steel
Total length 2,520 ft (768.1 m)[1]
Construction begin September 19, 1951
Opened July 30, 1954
Coordinates 46°13′29.92″N 119°8′8.52″W / 46.2249778°N 119.1357000°W / 46.2249778; -119.1357000Coordinates: 46°13′29.92″N 119°8′8.52″W / 46.2249778°N 119.1357000°W / 46.2249778; -119.1357000

The Blue Bridge (officially named the Pioneer Memorial Bridge[1]) is a four-lane arch-truss bridge connecting Pasco, Washington to Kennewick, Washington. U.S. Route 395 crosses the Columbia River via this bridge. The name comes from the blue paint used on the truss superstructure, with white paint on the suspension beams. The bridge was painted green at time of construction (green being the state color of Washington).[1] It is one of three bridges connecting Pasco to the other members of the Tri-Cities of Washington (Kennewick and Richland), along with the Cable Bridge to the east and the Interstate 182 Bridge from Richland to the northwest.

History[edit]

The bridge was first proposed in 1949 as the previous bridge (commonly referred to as the "Green Bridge") was unable to handle the 10,000+ cars that were crossing it daily. Work on the bridge was begun in 1951. Work was completed in the summer of 1954 with a total cost of about $7 million. The bridge was dedicated on July 30, 1954. A United States flag flies atop the bridge, which was added during the re-decking of the bridge in 1989.

During rush hour, the junction of U.S Route 395 and State Route 240 on the southbound side of the bridge is especially crowded. Late in 2005, it was announced that funding had been obtained in order to remedy the situation, by modifying the approaches and exits to the bridge, especially at the Highway 395 southbound exit on the Kennewick side of the bridge. This included constructing two roundabouts in place of the usual cloverleaf pattern.[2] Construction began February 23 and was completed in October 2009.[3]

In 2002, the bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#02000241).[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interchange south of Blue Bridge to be widened". Tri-Cities Republic. March 13, 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  2. ^ Tri-City Herald online edition. November 4, 2009. "Officials heap praise on new interchange project" by Michelle Dupler. Retrieved November 26, 2009.
  3. ^ http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/WA/Benton/state.html