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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

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