Nutty Narrows Bridge

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The Nutty Narrows Bridge
Squirrel Bridge 0002.jpg
Carries Squirrels
Crosses Olympia Way
Locale Longview, WA
Designer Amos Peters, Robert Newhall, and LeRoy Dahl
Design Stressed ribbon bridge in imitation of a Suspension Bridge
Material fire hose and unknown metals
Total length 60 feet
Constructed by Amos Peters
Construction end 1963[1]
Opened 1963
Coordinates 46°08′24.5436″N 122°56′17.05″W / 46.140151000°N 122.9380694°W / 46.140151000; -122.9380694Coordinates: 46°08′24.5436″N 122°56′17.05″W / 46.140151000°N 122.9380694°W / 46.140151000; -122.9380694

The Nutty Narrows Bridge is a squirrel bridge in Longview, Washington. It has the title of the "World's Narrowest Bridge" and also the "World's Narrowest Animal Crossing."[citation needed] The Nutty Narrows was named by a local councilwoman after the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.[2]

History[edit]

Before the bridge was built, squirrels had to avoid speeding traffic by running across the street to eat a nutty feast at an office building and back again to a park with large trees.[1]

On March 19, 1963, Amos Peters, after seeing many squirrels being flattened, decided to protect squirrels and give them a way to cross a busy thoroughfare without getting killed by passing cars. The original sky-bridge was built over Olympia Way near the Civic Center in downtown Longview.

A close-up of the bridge deck with sign

Designed to look like a mini-suspension bridge, the 60-foot-long (18 m) span and made of an aluminum piping covered with a retired firehose to create the roadway. The total cost for the bridge was $1000.

In 1983, Peters took down the bridge for repairs. Crosspieces were replaced and the faded sign was repainted. Upon its completion, the bridge was re-dedicated with special guests Chip 'n' Dale and Mickey Mouse from Disneyland. Also in attendance were 300 children and local dignitaries.[3]

Upon Peters' death in 1984, a ten-foot wooden squirrel sculpture was placed near the bridge in his memory.

Today[edit]

Due to the anchor trees supporting the bridge growing old and beginning to rot, the bridge was moved 100 yards east in 2007 to its current location connecting R.A. Long Park at the Civic Center to the Longview Public Library over Olympia Way.[3] In 2010 it was moved again after being determinded to be a traffic hazard. It is now "three trees from its original spot over Olympia Way".[4] On July 25, 2013 the Longview City Council voted to place the Nutty Narrows Bridge on the Longview Register of Historic Places.[5] Two more bridges have been added to keep the squirrels safe. One is on Kessler Blvd. and the other is on Nichols Blvd. The local Sandbaggers plan to add to this number yearly.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Nutty Narrows Bridge - City of Longview". Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Kelso / Longview Washington". Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Nutty Narrows Bridge opens in Longview on March 19, 1963.". 16 August 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  4. ^ A History of the Nutty Narrows; The Daily News, June 5, 2011, pg A4
  5. ^ City Council minutes of July 25, 2013.