Deception Pass

Deception Pass (HM1EM1)

Location: Anacortes, WA 98221 Crawford County
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Country: United States of America
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N 48° 24.593', W 122° 38.827'

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A Mysterious Channel

— Welcome to Deception Pass State Park —

The swirling waters that pass in and out of the narrow channels between Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island have captivated visitors to this area for thousands of years. Salish Native American tribes were the first human inhabitants of these islands and navigated the waters in cedar canoes as they traveled westward to the San Juans to fish. The first European explorers to chart the islands in the late 1700s mistakenly assumed Whidbey and Fidalgo to be part of the mainland and thought the powerful currents flowing between them indicated a mighty river to the east. Captain George Vancouver realized this mistake and coined the name "Deception Pass" on the 10th of June in 1792 as he explored the Northwest Passage.

The Deception Pass Bridge
Whidbey Island residents began lobbying the state government to fund the construction of a bridge to Fidalgo Island, which already had a bridge to the mainland in the 1890s. After decades of broken promises and two vetoes, a bill was finally passed and construction of the bridge began in August 1934 during the Great Depression.

The Wallace Bridge and Structural Company was hired to build the two-span bridge at a cost of $420,000. Much of the physical labor was done by local out-of-work farmers. Young Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees also assisted with the approach routes, using dynamite to blast through the rock on both sides. Construction took just under 12 months. The bridge was completed on July 25th and dedicated on July 31st, 1935. Construction would have been finished a day earlier, but when it came time to lower the final section, it didn't fit. An engineer quickly realized that the hot summer weather had caused the steel to expand. At 4 a.m. the steel had cooled and the last piece was lowered into place.

The Bridge by the Numbers
· Total length: 1,487 feet (Canoe Pass span: 511 feet, Deception Pass span: 976 feet)
· Road width: 22 feet
· Height: approximately 180 feet from the water (depending on tides)
· Roughly 15,000 cars cross the bridge each day
HM NumberHM1EM1
Placed ByDeception Pass Park Foundation, Deception Pass State Park, and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 8:30am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10U E 526114 N 5361918
Decimal Degrees48.40988333, -122.64711667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 48° 24.593', W 122° 38.827'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds48° 24' 35.58" N, 122° 38' 49.62" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)360
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1301-1305 4th St, Anacortes WA 98221, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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