Seattle 1978

Seattle 1978

Friday, June 24, 2011

East Channel Bridge Removal

I found some photos I took of the East Channel bridge being removed.  I think these were taken about May 1982.  I'm not sure when this version was built.  History Link has some information here about the first bridge in that location opening in 1923 and refers to a newer bridge being completed by 1940 when they removed the 1923 one. So I think this bridge was built sometime in the 30's.
From Bellevue 1979
From Bellevue 1979
From Bellevue 1979
Anyone remember how long they had to close down this portion of I-90 between Belleve and Mercer Island?

Here's a great post by Kurt Clark on the Lacey V. Murrow and Homer M. Hadley floating bridges which continues I-90 from the west side of Mercer Island over to Seattle.

12 comments:

Kurt Clark said...

Thanks for posting a link to my post about the floating bridge. Much appreciated :)

Jana said...

I meant to include your name along with the link so I've edited my post. Love your blog!

Matt said...

Jana,
Great photos. I remember bicycling around here as a teenager and seeing the concrete piers for the "new" East Channel bridge standing in the water for what seemed like aeons, each one with a forest of rebar growing out of the top, as if everyone expected that construction would continue tomorrow. I once heard that the municipalities involved ran out of money for a few years. I also remember hearing that kids would often jump from the undertrusses of the old bridge into the channel. You know, for a lark. Thanks for the memories!

Jana said...

Thank you for commenting, Matt. A couple of other people told me they used to jump from there. Brave souls. I do remember seeing carefree jumpers from the odd abruptly ending overpasses in the arboretum.

Matt McCauley said...

'Bridge Jumping' had different levels of difficulty and associated prestige. The girders were the basic, lower stage and, while high, impressed few. 'Street level' was well-regarded and once one had accomplished this--in front of witnesses--then he earned respect and admiring looks for about a week in the lunchroom and corridors of Mercer Island High School. This also helped establish one's 'bad boy' cred with with fairer sex. There were a few brave souls--typically from the diving team--who would climb partially up the arches and dive from those like suburban versions of Acapulco cliff divers. To do this was to achieve legendary status--a form of MIHS imortality. The MIPD were wise to all this and would stop and remove from the bridge kids who they suspected of 'bridge jumping', so there was actually an associate macho status associated with 'Getting busted for bridge jumping' (This did NOT involve any paperwork or incarceration, the officers just told you to get off the bridge and not come back) but I know more than one kid who was facing a bridge jump on a dare to prove his manliness was secretly relieved when MI's finest pulled over and gestured them to come over for a chat. ~Matt McCauley, MIHS, Class of '82.

Jana said...

Matt Mc - I love it! (as long as no one was permanently injured) You didn't happen to mention, but is this where you got your start diving the depths of Lk. Washington for vintage aircraft from? :-)

Anonymous said...

Jana,
They didn't have to close I-90 to remove it, The New East channel bridge was high enough it didn't effect the new bridge, I just remember it took for ever to build the New East Channel bridge due to the lawsuit the Mercer Island people brought against the state highway department.

Jana said...

Now that you mention it, I can see the new bridge through the old bridge! I don't know why that it didn't occur to me that the new bridge was built alongside of the old one. That makes so much more sense.

John said...

I still remember the time my mother, sister, and I wound up accidentally taking the old east channel bridge, instead of the new one, just after it had been closed. This would've been sometime in 1981, since we still had our '69 Ford Mustang.

Jana said...

Does that mean you had to turn around and drive the "wrong" way? Exciting!

John said...

No, we continued all the way to the eastern end and took the old Bellevue Way exit, which strangely enough, was still accessible, even though traffic on the new bridge used it as well.

(Yes, I kpow that I'm responding two years later - didn't notice your response until just now)

Jana said...

Thanks for stopping by again, John!