Skip to main content

2017 Washington State Trip Part 2; Washington State Route 16 and the Tacoma Narrows Bridges

After leaving SeaTac my destination was on the Kitsap Peninsula which required a crossing of Tacoma Narrows on Washington State Route 16.  Back in 2015 I failed to obtain the pictures I wanted due to seven hours of flight delays, so in a sense it was a long overdue stop.






WA 16 is a 27.2 mile state route from I-5 northwest to WA 3.  I pulled off of I-5 and headed northwest towards the Tacoma Narrows.   WA 16 junctions WA 163 at Pearl Street just before the Tacoma Narrows.






The Tacoma Narrows is a straight in Puget Sound which separates Tacoma from the Kitsap Peninsula.  The Tacoma Narrows is spanned by the 1950 Bridge carrying westbound traffic and the 2007 Bridge Carrying eastbound traffic.  The 1950 Bridge is free to cross but the 2007 bridge has a $6 dollar toll to cross.




I pulled off of WA 16 and took this picture from Stone Drive Northwest.





Followed by a trip down to the Tacoma Narrows Park for a better look at the 1950 and 2007 Bridges.  The 1950 Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a replacement for the 1940 Bridge which famously shook to collapse the year it opened.  The 1950 Bridge is a suspension design that is 5,979 feet in length.  The 2007 Bridge is apparently only 5,400 feet in length.





Westbound WA 16 has junctions with WA 302, WA 160, and WA 166 before terminating at WA 3 in Gorst.  I missed getting the WA 166 shield but managed to catch the others.  WA 16 is largely freeway grade but has an increasing amount of at-grade junctions before becoming a full fledged expressway near WA 3.














The WA 16 route number was part of the 1964 Washington State Highway renumbering which is why many of the three digit routes that junction it are 16X in format.  Previously most of the current alignment of WA 16 was Primary State Highway 14 before the state highway system was renumbered.  Primary State Highway 14 apparently dates back to 1937 and can be seen on the following map.

1956 Washington State Highway Map 

Interestingly I was able to find a map from 1938 showing the roads in Washington just as construction on the 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge was beginning.

1938 Washington State Highway Map

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Dummy Lights of New York

  A relic of the early days of motoring, dummy lights were traffic lights  that  were  placed  in the middle of a street intersection. In those early days, traffic shuffled through busy intersections with the help of a police officer who stood on top of a pedestal. As technology improved and electric traffic signals became commonplace, they were also  originally  positioned on a platform at the center of the intersection. Those traffic signals became known as  " dummy lights "  and were common until  traffic lights were moved  onto wires and poles that crossed above the intersection.  In New York State, only a handful of these dummy lights exist. The dummy lights  are found  in the Hudson Valley towns of Beacon and Croton-on-Hudson, plus there is an ongoing tug of war in Canajoharie in the Mohawk Valley, where their dummy light has been knocked down and replaced a few times. The dummy light in Canajoharie is currently out of commission, but popular demand has caused the dummy

Colorado Road (Fresno County)

Colorado Road is a rural highway located in San Joaquin Valley of western Fresno County.  Colorado Road services the city of San Joaquin in addition the unincorporated communities of Helm and Tranquility.  Colorado Road was constructed between 1910 and 1912 as a frontage road of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The roadway begins at California State Route 145 near Helm and terminates to the west at James Road in Tranquility.   Part 1; the history of Colorado Road Colorado Road was constructed as frontage road connecting the sidings of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway spanned from South Pacific Railroad West Side Line at Ingle junction southeast to the Coalinga Branch at Armona.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway broke ground during August 1910 and was complete by April 1912. The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway established numerous new sidings.  From Ingle the sidings of the line were Tranquility, Graham, San Joaquin, Caldwell, H

Francis Scott Key Bridge (1977-2024) (Baltimore, MD)

The Francis Scott Key Bridge (1977-2024) was a steel continuous truss bridge that spanned the Patapsco River in Baltimore, MD. Situated at the entrance to Baltimore’s Outer Harbor, the bridge carried Interstate 695 (part of the Baltimore Beltway) and was a visible symbol of the city and the state of Maryland. This bridge no longer exists due to its collapse as the result of a collision with a large container ship on March 26, 2024. The following piece will discuss the history and life of the Key Bridge, the important details surrounding the incident that caused its collapse, and the in-progress recovery efforts at the site. This piece will also discuss the economic impacts to the city and region as a result of the collapse and will look ahead at what to expect from a potential replacement crossing in the future. Part 1 - History of the Francis Scott Key Bridge (1977-2024) Planning for what was originally known as the “Baltimore Outer Harbor Crossing” began in the 1950s at the dawn of