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Deception Pass and Deception Pass Bridge - Washington
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Hikenutty
N 48° 24.399 W 122° 38.752
10U E 526208 N 5361559
Quick Description: Deception Pass and its CCC built steel truss bridge are one of the most picturesque areas in the state of Washington. To stay at the nearby state park you must make reservations up to a year in advance.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 5/4/2007 1:23:29 PM
Waymark Code: WM1GE5
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 189

Long Description:
The following exerpt is from driving tour 8c in the Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State guide book:
The DECEPTION PASS BRIDGE, 18.2 m. (182 alt), was completed in 1935, after many years of agitation by the residents of Whidbey Island for such a link to the mainland. The bridge has a total length of 1,350 feet, its 22-foot roadway bordered by railed pedestrian walks Constructed by the Public Works Administration, the span links Fidalgo and Whidbey Island, and connects Island and Skagit Counties, thus increasing the islanders' market range. Pass Island, a natural support for the bridge at its center, is a cone-shaped rock pier dividing the channel into Canoe Pass and the wider Deception Pass.

Beneath the bridge the narrow, high-walled gorge of DECEPTION PASS spills 2,500,000,000 gallons of water hourly at ebb tide into Rosario Strait; surface shadows and reflections offer a changing study in blues and greens as the foam-streaked tide boils through the rocky aperture. The lull that accompanies slack tide is soon broken by the returning flood, stirring to flight the wayfaring gulls. A sign at the bridge warns that the hunting of rabbits, a profitable part-time occupation on the island, is unlawful after 10 o'clock at night. The ruling was made to prevent hunters in galloping jalopies from racing through farm plots in pursuit of rabbits, easy prey under glaring headlights.

The narrow channel was named Boca de Flon by Quimper for a Mexican governor, and so recorded on Eliza's chart of 1791; it was renamed Deception Pass in 1792, when Captain George Vancouver's expedition learned it was not a closed harbor. Near the center of the bridge, on Pass Island, a memorial commemorates the naming of the pass by Vancouver, and notes that the channel has a tidal velocity of from 5 to 8 knots an hour, and a depth which varies from 4 to 37 fathoms.

The south end of the bridge, 18.6 m., is the entrance to that section of Deception Pass State Park which lies on Whidbey Island. Here is a panoramic view of Juan de Fuca Strait.

page 518

The Deception Pass bridge was a project built by the young members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Completion of the bridge allowed the United States Navy to build Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and stimulated the economy of Oak Harbor, Washington which had been without mainland road access prior to the bridge's construction.

The bridge, one of the scenic wonders of the Pacific Northwest, is actually two spans, one over Canoe Pass to the north, and another over Deception Pass to the south meeting in the middle over Pass Island. Construction of the cantilevered steel truss bridge began in 1934, and the completed bridge was dedicated in July, 1935. 460 tons of steel for the 511-foot Canoe Pass arch and 1130 tons for the 976-foot Deception Pass span was used. The cost of construction was $482,000.

Here are some facts about the bridge for its Wikipedia listing:

  • Height from water to roadway: about 180 feet, depending on the tide
  • Roadway: two 11 foot lanes, one in each direction
  • Sidewalks: 3 foot sidewalk on each side
  • Width of bridge deck: 28 feet
  • Total length: 1487 feet (more than a quarter mile)
  • Canoe Pass: one 350-ft arch and three concrete T-beam approach spans
  • Deception Pass: two 175-ft cantilever spans, one 200-ft suspended span, and four concrete T-beam approach spans
  • Vehicle crossings: 20,000 per day, average
  • Maximum speed of current at flood/ebb tide: 7 knots
  • Book: Washington

    Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 518

    Year Originally Published: 1941

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