Baker River Bridge (Henry Thompson Bridge) spanning the Baker River in Concrete, Skagit County, opens in January 1917.

  • By Priscilla Long
  • Posted 9/13/2007
  • Essay 8291

In January 1917, the Baker River Bridge opens in Concrete. It is a reinforced-concrete open-spandrel bridge and is the only link to the two sides of the town of Concrete. The bridge  carries State Route 20 (Main Street) over the Baker River and replaces an old wooden bridge that the Skagit County engineer has condemned.

The bridge was at the time one of the longest single-span concrete structures in the West. It connected the two sides of Concrete, a town located in Skagit County in the Cascade mountains that had a population of 1,500 at its peak in 1912. The economy was fueled by two concrete firms, the Superior Portland Cement Company and the Washington Portland Cement Company. The two firms donated the cement for the concrete that forms the supporting structure of the bridge.

Sources: William Michael Lawrence, Historic American Engineering Record, "Baker River Bridge" (HAER WA-105), August 1993, Library of Congress American Memory Website accessed August 24, 2003 (

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