Bridges provide an important link between two destinations. When Washington Territory was being settled, many bridges were constructed to allow pioneers to move across the region in search of land for homes, businesses, and towns. Sites to construct bridges were selected both out of simple necessity and also to access the most desirable natural resources and home sites. For many of Washington's early inhabitants, a safe and reliable bridge was very important when identifying and planning the most practical and economic business and political communities.
Whether in Washington's early days or the present, when a bridge is damaged or closed down -- such as the Manette Bridge in Kitsap County or the South Park Bridge in King County -- there can be serious repercussions for those living on either side. This curriculum was designed to provide students with a basic understanding of how bridges are constructed, why specific bridge sites were chosen, and how a particular bridge has influenced the lives of those who live or work in its vicinity.
This curriculum was developed through a partnership between HistoryLink.org, the Washington Department of Transportation, and Heritage 4Culture.