Ballard Bridge coming up on Centennial

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Mondoman 2 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #81343

    Chris
    Participant

    I wasn’t, fortunately, stuck in the traffic jam that resulted, but the Ballard Bridge got stuck in the open position again today, with predictable effects for vehicles trying to get to the south side of the Ship Canal.

    A quick look at Wikipedia shows that the bridge first opened to traffic in 1917. I presume that it is more or less structurally sound, but I’m curious about what, if any, plans have been discussed to either upgrade (so it doesn’t get stuck in the open position every couple of months) or replace it.

    Also – I am really not looking forward to trying to get anywhere other than to the Safeway for the 2 years that construction will probably take.

    #81349

    Mondoman
    Participant

    All too often, Wikipedia is wrong, and that’s seemingly true in this case. See:
    http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=3453
    Which reports the “new” Ballard Bridge completion in 1940.

    I have some vague memory of reading that perhaps just the approaches (90% of what we think of as “the bridge”) were rebuilt.

    #81350

    Mondoman
    Participant

    Looking at the photo reproduced at http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=3446 it does indeed seem that the bridge itself (the short section that opens and closes) was built in 1917, but the “approaches”, the roadways connecting the land to the bridge in the middle of the Ship Canal were originally made of wood; our current steel and concrete approaches were built in 1940.

    Again, my vague memory is that at the north side, the bridge originally came to ground level near Edith Macefield’s house, but that in the 1940s or 1950s the extra “hump” overpass was built to extend that over Leary Way to smooth the N/S flow of traffic.

    #81351

    Chris
    Participant

    Thanks for the clarification, Mondoman! I wasn’t thinking of the approaches and the drawspan as two different entities, but that makes a lot more sense.

    #81352

    GAM
    Participant

    Yes, it’s been built in stages. The old “pre-hump” street is still visible under the hump (where people now park – and camp). Good memory, Mondo!

    I think I read somewhere where there is talk of upgrading the bridge. Just talk at this stage, I think. Anyone know more?

    #81353

    VeganBiker
    Participant

    Mondoman – one can edit those pages in Wiki if one creates an account there.

    #81359

    Mondoman
    Participant

    VB – yes (and sorry you’ve been kept up by the “bombers”), I wanted to do a proper job with references and didn’t have time just then. I’m still trying to remember where exactly I read about the approaches and hump construction.

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