Bridge Timeline

Here is a timeline of milestones leading up to the opening of the Astoria-Megler Bridge.

  • 1920

    Ferry service between Astoria and the Washington side of the Columbia River began.

  • 1928

    The first recorded proposal to span the Columbia River at Astoria, by E.M. Elliott and Associates of Chicago.

  • 1930

    The bridge at Longview, Washington was completed. The design of that span was done by the designer of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, Joseph Strauss.

  • 1932

    Completion of the original Oregon Coast Highway.

  • 1953

    The Port of Astoria formed a partnership with the Oregon State Highway Department, the Washington Toll Bridge Authority, and Pacific County, Washington, to assess the feasibility for building a joint bridge.

  • 1957

    The legislatures of both Oregon and Washington appropriated $100,000 to prepare plans.

  • 1961

    The legislatures of both states agreed to fund the project. Governor Mark O. Hatfield signed Oregon House Bill 1457 authorizing $24 million in Bonds to pay for the construction of the bridge.

  • 1962

    In August 9, Oregon Governor Hatfield broke the first ground on the banks of the Columbia River in Astoria, using a gold shovel. This was the ceremonial groundbreaking, as the actual construction began later that year. The governor was assisted by Miss Oregon Estrellita Schid and Miss Washington Sandra Lee Marth

    Construction began on November 5.

  • 1966

    The bridge opened on July 29. Construction ended, and the bridge’s inauguration was on August 27.

    Ferry service from Astoria, Oregon to Megler, Washington ended by the M.R. Chessman making her final run on July 28, 1966.

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