Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Pasco-Kennewick 'Blue' Bridge, Washington"
Includes ... Pasco-Kennewick Bridge ... "Pioneer Memorial Bridge" ... Pasco ... Kennewick ... National Register of Historic Places ...
Image, 2003, Pasco-Kennewick Bridge, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Pasco-Kennewick Bridge. Kennewick's "Blue Bridge" as seen from Clover Island. Image taken September 29, 2003.


Pasco-Kennewick "Blue Bridge" ...
The Pasco-Kennewick Bridge is located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 330, approximately 3 miles downstream of Bateman Island, and one mile upstream of Clover Island. The "Cable Bridge" lies another half-mile downstream. Five miles downstream is the mouth of the Snake River, which merges with the Columbia River at RM 325.

Lewis and Clark and the "Corps of Discovery" arrived at the junction of the Snake with the Columbia on October 16, 1805, where they set up camp at "a point" between the two rivers, today the location of Sacajawea State Park. On October 17, 1805, while Captain Lewis remained in camp, Captain Clark and a crew of 2 journeyed 10 miles up the Columbia, intending to reach the mouth of the Yakima River. Because of the hour, the crew traveled as far as Bateman Island before turning around to make it back to camp before dusk. The passed the area which someday would be located the Pasco-Kennewick Bridge. Their comment about this area was about the lack of trees.


"Pioneer Memorial Bridge" ...
The official name of the Pasco-Kennewick Bridge is the "Pioneer Memorial Bridge", and locally known as the "Blue Bridge". The bridge was built with funds provided by the 1951 Washington State Legislature, and connects the city of Pasco, Washington (Franklin County), with the city of Kennewick, Washington (Benton County). In 2002 the bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Structure #02000241) for its architecture and engineering significance. The bridge also known as "Bridge Number 395/40".

Image, 2006, Pasco-Kennewick 'Blue Bridge
Click image to enlarge
Pasco-Kennewick "Blue Bridge", night shot, as seen from Columbia Park, Washington. Image taken September 29, 2006.


Views of the Bridge ...
Great views of the Pioneer Memorial Bridge can be had from the riverwalk along Columbia Park, and from the upstream tip of Clover Island.

Image, 2003, Pasco-Kennewick Bridge, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Early morning, Pasco-Kennewick Bridge. Image taken from Clover Island, Washington, September 29, 2003.
Image, 2005, Blue Bridge from Columbia Park, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Blue Bridge" from Columbia Park, Richland, Washington. Image taken September 24, 2005.
Image, 2005, On the Blue Bridge driving towards Kennewick, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
On the "Blue Bridge" driving towards Kennewick, Washington. Image taken September 24, 2005.
Image, 2005, Blue Bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sunset on the "Blue Bridge", Kennewick, Washington. Image taken September 24, 2005.
Image, 2005, Blue Bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sunset on the "Blue Bridge", Kennewick, Washington. Image taken September 24, 2005.
Image, 2006, Pasco-Kennewick 'Blue Bridge
Click image to enlarge
Pasco-Kennewick "Blue Bridge", night shot, as seen from Columbia Park, Washington. Image taken September 29, 2006.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 17, 1805 ...
I took two men in a Small Canoe and assended the Columbia river 10 miles to an Island [Bateman Island] near the Stard. Shore on which two large Mat Lodges of Indians were drying Salmon, ... there is no timber of any Sort except Small willow bushes in Sight in any direction - from this Island the natives showed me the enterance of a large Westerly fork which they Call Tâpetętt [Yakima River] at about 8 miles distant, the evening being late I deturmined to return to the forks [Snake River with the Columbia River, to their camp at today's Sacajawea State Park], at which place I reached at Dark.     from the point [Sacajawea State Park] up the Columbia River is N. 83° W. 6 miles to the lower point of an Island near the Lard. Side     passed a Island in the middle of the river at 5 miles [Clover Island] at the head of which is a rapid, not dangerous on the Lard Side opposite to this rapid is a fishing place 3 Mat Lodges, and great quants. of Salmon on Scaffolds drying. ...

[Today the Pasco-Kennewick "Blue Bridge" is located at the upsteam head of Clover Island and the "Cable Bridge" is located on the downstream side.]

The Waters of this river is Clear, and a Salmon may be Seen at the deabth of 15 or 20 feet. West 4 miles to the lower point of a large island [Bateman Island] near the Stard. Side at 2 Lodges, passed three large lodges on the Stard Side near which great number of Salmon was drying on Scaffolds ...

[Today Columbia Park is located on the south side of the Columbia between Clover Island and Bateman Island, and stretches from Kennewick to Richland, with Pasco on the other side. Today these three cities are known as the "Tri-Cities".]

I Set out & halted or came too on the Island at the two Lodges [Bateman Island]. Several fish was given to me, in return for Which I gave Small pieces of ribbond from those Lodges the natives Showed me the mouth of Tap teel River [Yakima River] about 8 miles above on the west Side this western fork appears to beare nearly West, The main Columbia river N W.- a range of high land to the S W [Horse Heaven Hills] and parralal to the river and at the distance of 2 miles on the Lard. Side, the countrey low on the Stard. Side, and all Coverd. with a weed or plant about 2 & three feet high and resembles the whins. I can proceive a range of mountains to the East which appears to bare N. & South distant about 50 or 60 miles [Blue Mountains]. no wood to be Seen in any derection ...





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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: City of Kennewick website, 2004; Hitchman, R., 1985, Place Names of Washington, Washington State Historical Society; National Register of Historic Places website, 2004; Richland Chamber of Commerce website, 2004; Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau website, 2004; Washington State Department of Transportation website, 2003.

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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September 2008