March 13, 1914

Dam break washes out the Fremont trestle bridge

The dam which held back the waters of Lake Union broke and a wall of water tore out the trestle bridge at Fremont.

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During the digging and construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal at Fremont, a temporary trestle bridge was opened in 1912 for pedestrians and other traffic.  Also to support the canal project, a timber dam was built to hold back the waters of Lake Union were held back from the construction area.  The damage to the trestle bridge when the dam broke was repaired and it reopened within three weeks.  Sources:  HistoryLink Essay 20374.  Photo courtesy of Seattle Daily Times, March 14, 1914, pages 1, 5, and 12.

January 1, 1917

Lake Washington Ship Canal

Lake Washington Ship Canal

As the Native travelers illustrated, connecting saltwater and freshwater made sense, except for one large problem.

June 15, 1917

Fremont Bridge opens to traffic

The double-leaf bascule drawbridge spans the Lake Washington Ship Canal and links the neighborhoods of Fremont and Queen Anne. It opened to traffic on this date.

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The construction of the current Fremont Bridge was necessitated by the construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal which linked Lake Washington and Lake Union to Puget Sound.  The bridge needed to be high enough to accommodate ocean-going vessels passing through the canal.  Because naval vessels would be using the canal, the U.S. War Department required that the bridge be 30 feet above water and include a draw that would give a 150-foot opening.  The ceremonial opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and boat parade was on July 4, 1917.