The Pioneer Memorial Bridge, also known as the “Blue Bridge” has been in service since 1954. The Tri-Cities area was growing so fast at the time and the previous bridge known as the “Green Bridge” couldn’t handle the growing traffic.

The Blue Bridge was originally green and it didn’t have a name. After a local “Name the Bridge” radio contest in 1967, it was decided to be called the “Pioneer Memorial Bridge” and the bridge was painted blue and has been nicknamed the “The Blue Bridge” ever since.

Over its 70-year existence, the bridge has had multiple paint jobs, not only to keep it looking good but also to protect the bridge’s structure. It was last painted 30 years ago in 1994.

How long will the Blue Bridge Paint Project Take?

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Blue Bridge painting project will continue through January 2025.

WSDOT YouTube Screenshot
WSDOT YouTube Screenshot

This year's painting project is estimated to cost 33.5 million dollars – which could have paid for the construction of nearly five bridges in 1954 – the original Blue Bridge price tag in 1954 was 7.1 million dollars.

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So, for the next nine months, the 66,000 daily travelers over the Blue Bridge will have to navigate through traffic and lane closures as outlined in the WSDOT video below.

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