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40 Years of Shining in the Washington Sunshine
By Tom Adkinson

cable bridge kennewick
Cable bridge in Kennewick - image by Tom Adkinson

KENNEWICK, Wash. – It was 40 years ago when the Ed Hendler Bridge over the Columbia River opened, marking completion of the first cable-stayed bridge in the U.S. and creation of a landmark in eastern Washington. President Ronald Reagan saluted it with the first-ever Presidential Award for Engineering after internationally recognized architect I.M. Pei chaired the judging committee. The structure, precursor of bridges with similar designs in more populated regions such as the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, S.C., is more informally and more commonly known as the Cable Bridge in Washington’s Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco and Richland). In 2016, it became eligible for early consideration for the National Register of Historic Places because of its extraordinary contribution to engineering. Cable-stayed bridges were common in Europe during reconstruction after World War II, but the concept was slow to cross the Atlantic. Construction cost $30 million in 1978, which translates to about $120 million today.

Published November 21, 2018

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