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Canoe Pass Bridge

Canoe Pass Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 26, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
WA-20 Over Canoe Pass
Rural: Skagit County, Washington: United States
Structure Type
Metal Two-Hinged Solid Ribbed Spandrel Braced Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete T-Beam, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1935 By Builder/Contractor: Wallace Bridge and Structural Steel Company of Seattle, Washington and Engineer/Design: Washington Department of Highways (O R. Elwell)

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
350 Feet (106.7 Meters)
Structure Length
511 Feet (155.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
22.3 Feet (6.8 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 3 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View Historic Structure Reports For This Bridge

The Canoe Pass Bridge is one of two bridges that carry WA-20 over two passes by way of tiny Pass Island. The other bridge is the Deception Pass Bridge. At first glance the two bridges appear to be the same structure type. But in reality they are two different bridge types, with the Canoe Pass Bridge being an arch bridge and the Deception Pass Bridge being a cantilever truss bridge. The two bridges together create a truly unique setting where two visually similar but structurally different bridge types can be compared side by side. The bridge type was clearly determined by the natural terrain. The shorter gap of Canoe Pass and its shear cliffs were an ideal location for a steel arch span with skewbacks anchored into the cliff walls. The Deception Pass Bridge in contrast spans the larger gap that is Deception Pass, and with the absence of the shear cliffs that would be ideal for arch skewbacks, its multi-span superstructure supported by a system of piers and abutments are more appropriate.

Just as the steeper cliffs at Canoe Pass dictated a steel arch bridge instead of a cantilever, the photo-documentation of this bridge reflects that narrower, steeper terrain as well... this bridge is very difficult to photograph, far more difficult than the Deception Pass Bridge. As such, photo-documentation is sadly more limited.

The Historic Structure Reports contain some useful information about this bridge. Of note, the Canoe Pass Bridge was built during construction as a three hinge arch bridge, but upon completion, the crown hinge was fixed creating a two hinge arch bridge.

These bridges are located in Deception Pass State Park and the bridges and they views they offer are major attractions for visitors to the area.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Canoe Pass Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: Canoe Pass Bridge

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