"JULIA HANSEN BRIDGE" Cathlamet Things to Do Tip by mtncorg
Cathlamet Things to Do: 7 reviews and 11 photos
Cathlamet has been isolated from the rest of Washington for much of its early existence. The establishment of Wahkiakum County so early in the life of Washington – the Territorial government established the county in 1858, one year into Washington’s history – reflects that isolation. State Highway 4 remains the only main road in and out of the county and it was only opened in 1930. Before that, the river was the main transportation artery. A road was developed across Puget Island in 1925 and car ferries then connected across to Westport, Oregon, which was another way out of town preceding the development of the Ocean Beach Highway (State Route 4). Connecting Cathlamet to Puget Island is this bridge which was completed in 1939. The bridge is some 2,433 feet long and soars some 60 feet above the river. This channel was the main channel at the time of Lewis & Clark’s visit though today the main shipping channel has been moved to the south side of Puget Island. The bridge was renamed in honor of Cathlamet’s most well known political figure Congresswoman Julia Butler Hansen – State Representative from 1939-1960 and Congresswoman 1960-1974. Local osprey have taken advantage of the bridge towers to set their nest up high – many old river pilings can also been seen along the river to also host osprey nests. On my walk across the bridge, the adult ospreys were mildly upset at my intrusion into their space – cars don’t bother them as they are fast gone from the scene – but they were wildly upset at the intrusion a mountain corgi walking at my side, even though the poor little dog was probably only a little bigger than they were and certainly no threat to climb up the steel griders with his short little legs.
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