Fremont Bridge

The Fremont Bridge is a double-leaf bascule bridge that connects Fremont and 4th Avenues N. 30 feet (9.1 m) over Seattle's Fremont Cut between Fremont and Queen Anne.

The Fremont Bridge was opened on Friday June 15, 1917 at a cost of $410,000. The first traffic over the bridge was to "owl cars", the last run of the trolleys, and then after 5am the same day to all other traffic. The Lake Washington Ship Canal was dedicated on July 4, 1917, which has caused confusion about the opening date, for this bridge crosses the canal. The Fremont Bridge is the first of four city bascules to cross the canal, the others being Ballard Bridge (1917), University Bridge (1919), and Montlake Bridge (1925). The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and is also a designated city landmark, ID #110347.

Due to its low vessel clearance of 30 feet (9.1 m), the Fremont Bridge opens an average of 35 times a day, which makes it the most frequently opened drawbridge in the United States and one of the busiest bridges in the world. Federal law gives marine traffic the right-of-way over vehicular traffic, however the Fremont Bridge is closed to water traffic during rush hours.

The bridge's blue and orange color was chosen by voters at a 1985 street fair.

In 2006, the Fremont Bridge underwent a $41.9 million restoration project to replace the approaches and maintenance shop, as well as renovation of the mechanical and electrical systems that operate the bascule. The approaches were completed in May 2007 and testing lasted through the Spring of 2008.

Confusingly, the Fremont Troll, a long-standing public sculpture, is not located beneath the Fremont Bridge, but rather the nearby Aurora Bridge, but still in the Fremont neighborhood.

Building Activity

  • Bill
    Bill commented
    There seems to be some confusion between the Fremont Bridge in Portland and the Fremont Bridge in Seattle. The one pictured is the Seattle bridge, but the description is of the bridge in Portland. Two very different bridges despite sharing a name.
    about 6 years ago via Mobile
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    about 6 years ago via