The Deception 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 Canoe 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.
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.
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