48 bridges that cross the Columbia river. I've run, ridden a motorcycle or bicycle across two of these bridges and driven a car across a half dozen more. One day I'd like to cross all of them ... and write about their history.
This page gives a good thumbnail sketch of the types of bridges across the Columbia in the United States, but it doesn't say much about the history behind the bridges. Building a bridge is no small task politically or financially. These days, we take these crossing for granted, but in their time, many of these crossing were the controversial outcome of years of wrangling. Much of the Columbia's course divides the state of Washington and Oregon -- two neighboring states with very different cultures, tax systems and legislatures.
With a new I-5 bridge plan underway right now, this is the perfect time to look back. See: Columbia Crossings