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Vantage Bridge

Interstate 90 crosses the Columbia on the high steel Vantage Bridge. Originally, the highway crossed the Columbia River on a 1,640-foot, two-lane cantilever bridge built by the Washington State Highway Department in 1927 to replace a small two-car ferry that operated in the same spot beginning in 1914. This earlier steel bridge was located approximately one mile north of the current bridge, in the vicinity of Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. Construction of Wanapum Dam in the late 1950s and early 1960s flooded the area around the original bridge crossing as a reservoir was created upriver. In 1962, a new, higher steel bridge opened in the present location, spanning a reservoir that was higher and wider than the original river. The following year, the old bridge was dismantled and put into storage where it remained until 1968, when it was rebuilt to cross the Snake River at Lyons Ferry (See Tour 2a).

Once across the Columbia River, the original highway proceeded through Vantage and continued west to Ellensburg following the route of what is now the Vantage Highway. Now, it is necessary to take exit 136 from Interstate 90 to reach Vantage after crossing the bridge.