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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Astoria-Megler Bridge"
Includes ... Astoria-Megler Bridge ... Point Ellice-Astoria Ferry ... Astoria-Megler Ferry ... The Golden Age of Postcards ... Tourist No.2 ...
Image, 2005, Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River as seen from Astoria, Oregon. The Astoria-Megler Bridge is on the left and Point Ellice, Washington, is on the right, behind the ship. Image taken February 19, 2005.


Astoria-Megler Bridge ...
The Astoria-Megler Bridge stretches 4.1 miles (21,474 feet) from Astoria, Oregon, across the mouth of the Columbia River, to Point Ellice, Washington, at Columbia River Mile (RM) 14. The bridge replaced previous ferry lines running from Astoria to Washington. The main span is a 2,468-foot steel cantilever through truss, and is flanked by five steel deck trusses, one hundred forty 80-foot concrete deck girder spans, and, at the Washington end of the bridge, seven 350-foot steel through truss spans. The bridge was designed jointly by the Oregon and Washington state highway departments. Construction on the the Astoria-Megler Bridge began in 1962 and was formally dedicated August 27, 1966. Initially the bridge was a toll bridge. However, in 1993, a full 2 years early, the bridge was paid off and the toll was removed.

Image, 2004, Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon. Image taken June 16, 2004.
Image, 2004, Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon. Image taken June 16, 2004.


Washington to Astoria Ferries ...
In 1915 construction was completed on the Columbia River Highway (today's Highway 30) linking Astoria and Portland Along with the new highway to Astoria came a demand for reliable ferry service from Astoria to Washington State. In 1921 Captain Fritz Elfving created a ferry service between Astoria and McGowan with a ferry named "The Tourist". For the next 45 years ferry service existed out of Astoria, and ended with the opening of the Astoria to Megler Bridge in 1966. The last ferry run was the "M.R. Chessman" on July 28, 1966.
[More]

Astoria-Megler Bridge, Oregon side ...
Good views of the Astoria-Megler Bridge can be seen from Coxcomb Hill, plus along the river throughout downtown Astoria. The bridge can also be seen while crossing the Youngs Bay Bridge west of Astoria.

Image, 2005, Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon. The Astoria-Megler bridge is in the background. Image taken February 19, 2005.
Image, 2004, Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Coxcomb Hill, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Astoria-Megler Bridge and the mouth of the Columbia River. View from Coxcomb Hill, Astoria, Oregon. Image taken May 25, 2004.
Image, 2005, Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Coxcomb Hill, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Astoria-Megler Bridge, Oregon side. View from Coxcomb Hill, Astoria, Oregon. Image taken April 19, 2005.
Image, 2003, Astoria, Oregon, and the Astoria-Megler Bridge, from U.S. Highway 101, click to enlarge
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Smith Point, Astoria, Oregon, with Astoria-Megler Bridge. View of the Astoria-Megler Bridge and Smith Point, with the eastern end of the Youngs Bay Bridge reaching Smith Point (on the right). View from car while crossing the Youngs Bay Bridge (U.S. Highway 101). Image taken August 2, 2003.
Image, 2003, Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon. Image taken August 2, 2003.
Image, 2007, Driving under the Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon. Image taken October 13, 2007.
Image, 2007, Driving under the Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Driving under the Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon. Image taken October 13, 2007.


Astoria-Megler Bridge, Washington side ...
The Washington side of the Astoria-Megler Bridge can be viewed from Point Ellice, the northern end of the bridge. Other views are from Megler Rest Area, upstream of the bridge, and from pulloffs along Highway 401, on the downstream side of the bridge.

Image, 2005, Astoria-Megler Bridge, Washington side, from Coxcomb Hill, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Astoria-Megler Bridge, Washington side, and Point Ellice. View from Coxcomb Hill, Astoria, Oregon. Image taken April 19, 2005.
Image, 2004, Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Point Ellice, click to enlarge
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Astoria-Megler Bridge from Point Ellice, Washington. View from upstream of Point Ellice, off of Washington State Highway 401. Image taken June 16, 2004.
Image, 2004, Astoria-Megler Bridge and Point Ellice, Washington, click to enlarge
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Astoria-Megler Bridge and Point Ellice, Washington. View from Megler Rest Area. Image taken April 9, 2004.
Image, 2004, Astoria-Megler Bridge, from near Station Camp, click to enlarge
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Astoria-Megler Bridge, Washington State end. View from downstream Point Ellice and upstream Station Camp, off of Washington State Highway 401. Image taken April 9, 2004.
Image, 2004, Astoria-Megler Bridge, from near Megler, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Astoria-Megler Bridge, Washington State end. View from Megler Rest Area, off of Washington State Highway 401. Image taken April 9, 2004.
Image, 2005, Point Ellice from Megler Rest Area, click to enlarge
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Point Ellice, Washington, with the Astoria-Megler Bridge. View from Megler Rest Area off of Washington Highway 401. Image taken November 9, 2005.


On the Bridge ...
The over-four-mile-long Astoria-Megler Bridge connects Astoria, Oregon, with Point Ellice and Megler, Washington.

Image, 2005, On the Astoria-Megler Bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
On the Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Megler, Washington, looking towards Astoria, Oregon. Image taken February 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, On the Astoria-Megler Bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
On the Astoria-Megler Bridge, from Astoria, Oregon, looking towards Point Ellice, Washington. Image taken April 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, Astoria-Megler Bridge, Washington side, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Astoria-Megler Bridge, Washington side. Image taken April 19, 2005.
Image, 2005, Astoria-Megler Bridge, Washington side, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Astoria-Megler Bridge, Washington side. Image taken April 19, 2005.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards", with the "Penny Postcard" being a popular way to send greetings to family and friends. Today the Penny Postcards have become a snapshot of history.

Penny Postcard, Astoria-Megler Ferry, Tourist No.2
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Astoria-Megler Ferry, Tourist No.2.
Penny Postcard, "Astoria-Megler Ferry". Caption on back reads: "Tourist No.2, Astoria, Oregon-Megler, Washington Ferry. This ferry connects Pacific Coast Highway 101 across the mouth of the Columbia River. The 10 mile trip takes approximately 30 minutes." Published by Anderson Sundry Co., Portland, Oregon. Color by Mel Anderson. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.

The "Tourist No.2" Ferry was one of the ferries used on the Astoria-Megler route. The ferry was a wooden-hulled vessel, 110-feet long and 36-feet wide which began service in 1924. The diesel-powered ferry could carry 20 cars and 155 people. She belonged to Captain Elfving's company until the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, when the Army commandeered the ferry for laying mines in the lower Columbia River. Later the Army used the Tourist No.2 as a ferry running between Fort Canby and Fort Stevens. At the end of WWII the Army sold the ferry back to Elfving who operated it until the state of Oregon purchased the company in 1946. In 1966 the Tourist No.2 was sent to Alaska and used as a floating cannery.



From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 15, 1805 ...
Rained all the last night, this morning it became Calm and fair, I preposed Setting out [from their camp at Megler Cove, near Megler Rest Area], and ordered the Canoes Repared and loaded; before we could load our canoes the wind Sudenly Sprung up from the S.E. and blew with Such violence, that we could not proceed in Safty with the loading.     I proceeded to the point [Point Ellice] in an empty Canoe, and found that the waves dashed against the rocks with Such violence that I thought it unsave to Set out with the loaded Canoes -- The Sun Shown untill 1 oClock P M which ... About 3 oClock the wind luled, and the river became calm, I had the canoes loaded in great haste and Set Out, from this dismal nitich where we have been confined for 6 days passed [Megler area] ...     proceeded on passed the blustering point [Point Ellice] below which I found a butifull Sand beech thro which runs a Small     below the mouth of this Stream is a village of 36 houses uninhabited by anything except flees ...     as the tide was Comeing in and the Seas became verry high imediately from the Ocian (imediately faceing us) I landed and formed a camp on the highest Spot I could find between the hight of the tides, and the Slashers in a Small bottom [Station Camp, McGowan, Washington]     this I could plainly See would be the extent of our journey by water, as the waves were too high at any Stage for our Canoes to proceed any further down.     in full view of the Ocian from Point Adams to Cape Disapointment [Cape Disappointment], I could not See any Island in the mouth of this river as laid down by Vancouver. The Bay which he laies down in the mouth is imediately below me [Baker Bay]. This Bay we call Haleys bay from a favourate Trader with the Indians which they Say comes into this Bay and trades with them     Course to Point adams is S. 35o W. about 8 miles     To Cape Disapointment is S. 86o W. about 14 miles ... our men all Comfortable in their Camps which they have made of boards from the old Village above.     we made 3 miles to day.





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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources: Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce website, 2004; Clatsop County Historical Society website, 2004; Oregon Department of Transportation website, 2004, 2006; StateOfOregon.com website, 2005; Washington State University Libraries Digital Collections website, 2004, "Early Washington Maps".

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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© 2013, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
February 2013