Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Interstate 205 Bridge"
Includes ... Interstate 205 Bridge ... Glenn Jackson Bridge ... Government Island ...
Image, 2004, Interstate 205 and Government Island, from Rocky Butte, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Interstate 205 and Government Island, from Rocky Butte, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2004.

Interstate 205 Bridge (Glenn Jackson Bridge) ...
In 1977 groundbreaking began on the "Glenn Jackson Bridge" connecting Vancouver, Washington, to Portland, Oregon. On December 15, 1983, the first cars crossed the "Interstate 205 Bridge". The bridge traverses Government Island. Total bridge length is 11,750 feet (a little over 2 miles), with the north channel section (Washington State to Government Island), 7,460 feet, the Government Island section, 1,170 feet, and the south channel section (Government Island to Oregon), 3,120 feet. Glenn L. Jackson, for whom the bridge was named, was the Oregon Department of Transportation Commissioner from 1959 to 1979. On November 15, 1977, the Oregon Transportation Commission named the I-205 bridge after their chairman, the only time know where ODOT named a bridge for someone who was not yet deceased. Glenn Jackson died June 20, 1980.

Image, 2004, Underneath the Interstate 205 Bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Under the Interstate 205 Bridge. From the Washington shore looking towards Government Island. Image taken December 18, 2004.

The Locale ...
The Glenn Jackson Bridge crosses Government Island near the downstream end of the largest of the island complex.

Upstream on the Washington side is the Vancouver Trout Hatchery and the small community of Fishers Landing. Downstream on the Washington side is Ellsworth, Image/Russell Landing, and Lieser Point.

Upstream on the Oregon side is Blue and Fairview Lakes and Chinook Landing. Downstream on the Oregon side is the Portland International Airport.

Views from Airliner ...

Image, 2010, Interstate 205 Bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Interstate 205 Bridge crosses Government Island, as seen from airliner landing at PDX. Day overcast and drizzly. Image taken October 10, 2010.
Image, 2012, Interstate 205 and Government Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Interstate 205 and Government Island. View from airliner heading east from PDX. Mid afternoon, clouds, gray, and drizzle. Image taken April 24, 2012.

Views of the Interstate 205 Bridge ...

Image, 2005, View north from Rocky Butte, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
View north to Washington State, from Rocky Butte, Oregon. Mount St. Helens, the Columbia River, Government Island, and the Interstate 205 Bridge are all in this view looking north from Rocky Butte. Image taken June 15, 2005.
Image, 2003, Interstate 205 Bridge and Government Island, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Government Island and the Interstate 205 Bridge. Government Island as seen from Marine Drive, Oregon. Image taken May 29, 2003.
Image, 2003, Interstate 205 Bridge and Mount Hood, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Columbia River, Interstate 205 Bridge, and Mount Hood, Oregon. Downstream side of the Interstate 205 Bridge as seen from Marine Drive, Oregon. Government Island is to the left and the Oregon banks of the Columbia River are to the right. Mount Hood, Oregon, is in the background. Image taken July 5, 2003.
Image, 2005, Beach at Fishers Landing, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Beach, Fishers Landing, Washington. Interstate 205 Bridge is in the background. Image taken November 23, 2005.
Image, 2004, Mount Hood, Oregon, from Ryan Point, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount Hood, Oregon, and the Interstate 205 Bridge, from Ryan Point, Washington. Image taken December 18, 2004.
Image, 2006, Tidewater Cove, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Washington shoreline as seen from Tidewater Cove. Mount Hood is in the background with the Interstate 205 Bridge in the middleground. Image taken October 9, 2006.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 4, 1805 ...
A cloudy cool morning wind from the West we Set out at 1/2 past 8 oClock [from their camp on the north side of Government Island, approximately across from Fisher's Landing], one man Shannon Set out early to walk on the Island [Government Island] to kill Something, he joined us at the lower point with a Buck. This island is 6 miles long and near 3 miles wide thinly timbered     (Tide rose last night 18 inches perpndicular at Camp) near the lower point of this diamond Island [Government Island] is The head of a large Island Seperated from a Small one by a narrow chanel [Lewis and Clark show two large islands on their maps, both in today's Government Island area], and both Situated nearest the Lard Side, those Islands [even today the Government Island reach is a complex of many islands] as also the bottoms are thickly Covered with Pine &c. river wide, Country low on both Sides; [since 1983 the Interstate 205 bridge crosses Government Island connecting Oregon to Washington]     on the Main Lard Shore a Short distance below the last Island we landed at a village of 25 Houses: [near Portland International Airport]; ...     This village contains about 200 men of the Skil-loot nation ...

at 7 miles below this village passed the upper point of a large Island [Hayden Island] nearest the Lard Side, a Small Prarie [Jolie Prairie, today the location of Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark. Lewis and Clark camp on this prairie on their return] in which there is a pond [one of the many ponds which use to dot this area] opposit on the Stard. here I landed and walked on Shore, about 3 miles a fine open Prarie for about 1 mile, back of which the countrey rises gradually and wood land comencies Such as white oake, pine of different kinds, wild crabs with the taste and flavour of the common crab and Several Species of undergroth of which I am not acquainted, a few Cottonwood trees & the Ash of this countrey grow Scattered on the river bank, ...     joined Capt. Lewis at a place he had landed with the party for Diner. ...

dureing the time we were at dinner those fellows Stold my pipe Tomahawk which They were Smoking with [Tomahawk pipe, thus giving rise to the name Tomahawk Island] ...    we proceeded on

[The men have passed through the area which, 20 years later, Dr. John McLoughlin would choose for a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company, later to become Fort Vancouver and eventually the city of Vancouver, Washington.]

met a large & a Small Canoe from below, with 12 men the large Canoe was ornimented with Images carved in wood the figures of <man &> a Bear in front & a man in Stern, Painted & fixed verry netely on the <bow & Stern> of the Canoe, rising to near the hight of a man [Lewis and Clark then named Hayden Island "Image Canoe Island"]     two Indians verry finely Dressed & with hats on was in this canoe passed the lower point of the Island [Hayden Island] which is nine miles in length haveing passed 2 Islands on the Stard Side of this large Island [the location of Vancouver Landing and since 1917 the Interstate 5 Bridge connecting Oregon to Washington State], three Small Islands at its lower point [The downstream end of Hayden Island was at one time composed of small islands. One of these, Pearcy Island, would become today's Kelley Point.]. the Indians make Signs that a village is Situated back of those Islands on the Lard. Side and I believe that a Chanel is Still on the Lrd. Side [it wasn't until Lewis and Clark's return trip they would discover the mouth of the Willamette River] as a Canoe passed in between the Small Islands, and made Signs that way, probably to traffick with Some of the nativs liveing on another Chanel, at 3 miles lower [Sauvie Island is located at this stretch, but it is not until the return that Lewis and Clark recognize it as a separate island], and 12 Leagues below quick Sand river [Sandy River] passed a village of four large houses on The Lard. Side [on Sauvie Island], near which we had a full view of Mt. Helien [Mount St. Helens, Washington] which is perhaps the highest pinical in America from their base it bears N. 25 E about 90 miles- This is the mountain I Saw from the Muscle Shell rapid [Umatilla Rapids, Captain Clark actually saw Mount Adams] on the 19th of October last Covered with Snow, it rises Something in the form of a Sugar lofe- about a mile lower passed a Single house on the Lard. Side, and one on the Stard. Side, passed a village on each Side and Camped near a house on the Stard. Side [Post Office Lake vicinity, today within the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] we proceeded on untill one hour after dark with a view to get clear of the nativs who was constantly about us, and troublesom, finding that we could not get Shut of those people for one night, we landed and Encamped on the Stard. Side ...

This evening we Saw vines much resembling the raspberry which is verry thick in the bottoms. A range of high hills at about 5 miles on the Lard Side [Portland's West Hills'] which runs S. E. & N W. Covered with tall timber the bottoms below in this range of hills and the river is rich and leavel, Saw White geese with a part of their wings black. The river here is 1 miles wide, and current jentle. opposite to our camp on a Small Sandy Island [one of the small sandy islands prevelent in this stretch of the Columbia. Today the Willow Bar Islands on the east side of Sauvie Island lie across from Post Office Lake.] the brant & geese make Such a noise that it will be impossible for me to Sleap. we made 29 miles to day

Vancouver PlainsReturn to




*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

  • "Columbian.com" website, Special Features, "Reflections, I-205 Bridge ready", 2004;
  • Oregon State Department of Transportation website, 2004;

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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May 2012