The Monroe Street Bridge

The first bridge over the Spokane River in the new town was built in 1881 near Howard St. It was made out of wood. In the next 10 years 5 bridges were built over the river.

The first Monroe Street bridge, built for a cable car was completed in 1888. It, burned on the night of July 23, 1890.
The second Monroe street bridge, made of steel, stood until July 1910. That bridge was 1,240 feet long. There was a roller coaster dip in the bridge that was over the falls. That must have been a thrill for passengers on the streetcars that went over the bridge.
The second bridge developed a vibration and eventually collapsed after a mud slide on its south side. In 1907 when the Ringling Brothers Circus came to town, the elephants refused to cross the bridge apparently sensing something was wrong.

The third bridge was made out of concrete. It was opened on November 23, 1911 and is still standing. It is about a century old and cars are still going over it. Why are there buffalo heads there? Well they're there because they are marking the people that came on the Oregon Trail, if you look close enough you will also see wagon wheels.

*The Monroe Street Bridge is currently under renovation.

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Revised: March 19, 2004
Report prepared in May 2001.