I've always called 395's bridge "The Blue Bridge Of Death" for years.

Blue Bridge
credit: goggle street view maps

When I first moved to the Tri-Cities in 2007, I soon discovered that the Blue Bridge is a lot harder to navigate than most people think. The Pioneer Memorial Bridge is a landmark for the Tri-Cites since its inception back in 1949. The bridge was completed in 1954 at a cost of $7.1 million. In 2002, the bridge was added to the list of historic places in the United States.

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The bridge for its time was an engineering marvel but now with the explosion of the Tri-Cities, the bridge has now become increasingly crowded and flooded with vehicles during drive times. There are more and more accidents on the bridge daily so I'm going to make a bold statement - It's time to change the speed limit on the Blue Bridge.

I'm going to break down five reasons why the speed limit should change on the blue bridge.

The current speed limit on the bridge is 55 MPH.


Lots Of Accidents Happen On The 395 Blue Bridge Going Into Pasco Washington

The number one reason to reduce the speed limit is the number of accidents that occur on the bridge. At 55, that means most drivers are going at 60 or faster and there is no way to stop in time hence the reason the bridge experiences more accidents in that location than most other places in the Tri-Cities.


Expect Bumper To Bumper Traffic On The 395 Blue Bridge

Another issue to change the speed limit on the Blue Bridge is the constant bumper-to-bumper traffic that you'll experience on the bridge. Drivers have no concept of giving a car length for every 10 miles that you are traveling and so you'll experience tail-gating every day on the Blue Bridge. 

KPD video image
KPD video image

Lewis Street On-Ramp Is One Of Weirdest Configurations Ever On 395

I'm sure the concept of having a Lewis Street on-ramp looked good on paper but coming in from the left is a dangerous concept daily. A lot of drivers don't realize that they don't have the right-of-way when entering the highway from the left. Washington law requires drivers to stay in the right lane unless passing but of course, on 395 they hang in the left lane and won't let you in from the left.

Photo by Gabriel Sanchez on Unsplash
Photo by Gabriel Sanchez on Unsplash

Ice or Snow Makes The Blue Bridge On 395 Very Dangerous

My truck even in the 4-wheel drove mode slide and skidded on the Blue Bridge during the winter. Drivers think that it's the Daytona 500 on the Blue Bridge and it's another reason for everyone to slow their roll on their commute.

Blue Bridge Merge Lane Off Lewis
credit: google street view

No One Pays Attention To The Speed Limit, Post A 24 Hour Police Car At The Bridge

I'd love to see a 24/7 police cruiser and officer posted at the Blue Bridge. I occasionally see Pasco and WSP sitting on the side of the road at the Lewis Street exit but if an officer was there 24/7, I suspect folks would slow down.

I do love karma and Sunday morning I was coming across the bridge and a flamin' red Mustang came racing by me and as he got to the top of the Blue Bridge, a Pasco Police cruiser was just coming on the bridge and made a U-turn at the Lewis Street exit and decided to pull the driver over.

I'm not sure if the speed limit will ever get changed on the Blue Bridge but I think there are valid reasons to reduce the speed limits on the bridge. If the county was smart, maybe you install electronic speed limit signs that adjust with traffic flow and adjust throughout the day.

Just a thought.

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