A date to remember

The Times reminds us that today is the 29th anniversary of the notorious incident (detailed nicely at HistoryLink.org) that paved the way for the high bridge: the day Rolf Neslund (whose subsequent murder is featured in a book by Ann Rule) crashed a freighter into the bridge’s predecessor. That finally closed years of squabbling over whether to build a better bridge; the current high bridge opened in 1984. So next time you’re stuck in morning bridge traffic (recent photo below) … remember, it might be worse if not for Rolf …


8 Replies to "A date to remember"

  • Robert June 11, 2007 (2:22 pm)

    There was no tunnel option? :-)

    Both the low and the high bridge are pretty impressive feats of engineering!

  • SomeGuy June 11, 2007 (2:27 pm)

    Rolf’s son, Magnus, is available to ram a supertanker into the viaduct, for the right price. This option will be added to a $5 million citizen advisory ballot in March of 2015.

  • JT June 11, 2007 (3:15 pm)

    It seems like yesterday that my grandfather told me that Rolf was a hero to everyone in West Seattle the day that happened. Who would have thought we’d have a need for repeat peformance in less than 30 years?

  • Jan June 11, 2007 (3:32 pm)

    SomeGuy…pretty funny :D

  • d June 11, 2007 (7:43 pm)

    It is obvious, you were not here then. And, you do not know what standing in line for 4-8 hours, for 10 galons of gas (at any price,70Cents/gallon) was like.

    A real jewel.In retrospect, the old low bridge was much better. And, any DAMN fool that wants price controls to gas to reappear should be taken out back, and shot. Or, better yet, be made to buy gas for all of the rest of us, one customer at a time, each day, each line.

    As the oil companies say, “It didn’t work then, and it sure won’t work now”

  • WSB June 11, 2007 (7:57 pm)

    Nope, we’ve made it clear we’ve ‘only’ been here since the early ’90s. But yes, we do know what gas lines were like, not sure how you could presume we weren’t; they happened where we lived in the late ’70s, too. Lots of fun (not) to get up before dawn in order to make it to the corner gas station in hopes of being one of the lucky few who might score a few gallons some hours later when the truck showed up.

  • miws June 11, 2007 (8:30 pm)

    Hard to believe it’s been that long ago!

    I have a weird story that relates to the day that “The ship hit the span”.

    I was on the bus, on my way down to Sears, and just as the bus started up the ramp by the Fire Station to the bridge, I had this sudden thought, wondering how traffic would be handled if one of the bridges was disabled, and couldn’t carry any traffic.

    Imagine my surprise, when the bus got “topside” and I see the westbound span stuck in the up position, and traffic going both ways on the eastbound span!

    I had not seen, or heard news programs, or read the paper, this was on a Sunday morning, and the only thing I can think of, other than it being some kind of premonition, is that the incident may have been mentioned over the clock radio (likely KJR AM, back then they were a Top 40 Music Station) while I was still partially asleep, and was stuck in my subconcious.


  • Luckie June 11, 2007 (8:46 pm)

    Hey old-timers, remember when people were telling this one?

    Q: What did Rolf Neslund say when he ran his boat into the West Seattle Bridge?

    A: “My wife’s gonna kill me!”

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