Deception Pass

Deception Pass (HM1ENX)

Location: Oak Harbor, WA 98277 Los Angeles County
Buy Washington State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 48° 24.46', W 122° 38.649'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites

Before the Bridge

— Welcome to Deception Pass State Park —

It's hard to imagine Deception Pass without the bridge. But until 1935, the gap between Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island could only be crossed by boat. In 1924 a small ferry called the Deception Pass began running between Yokeko Point and Hoypus Point. It was owned and operated by Berte Olson, the first female captain in the state of Washington. Service was, by most accounts, infrequent, and the route was often canceled due to turbulent water conditions. Patrons summoned the ferry by hitting an old saw with a mallet. Fares were 50 cents for a car and driver, and 75 cents for larger vehicles. Though she was barely five feet tall, Olson was known as a force to be reckoned with. For years she fought to prevent the construction of the bridge, even persuaded the governor to veto a bill funding the project that had passed the state legislature unanimously. The ferry went out of service shortly after the bridge was completed.

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
Placed ByDeception Pass Park Foundation, Deception Pass State Park, and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 1:07pm PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10U E 526334 N 5361673
Decimal Degrees48.40766667, -122.64415000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 48° 24.46', W 122° 38.649'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds48° 24' 27.60" N, 122° 38' 38.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)360
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1513 Fifth St, Oak Harbor WA 98277, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Deception Pass
0.01 miles
Crossing the Pass
0.01 miles
Deception Pass
0.19 miles
Deception Pass
0.2 miles
Deception Pass
0.22 miles
U.S. Navy Patrol and Reconnaissance Memorial
4.71 miles
Douglas Fir
5.73 miles
Ship Harbor
6.91 miles
Island Flyer
7.45 miles
Andrew Carnegie
7.57 miles
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?