The Cable Bridge, officially called the Ed Hendler Bridge and sometimes called the Intercity Bridge, spans the Columbia River between Pasco and Kennewick in southeastern Washington as State Route 397. It was constructed in 1978 and replaced the Pasco-Kennewick Bridge, an earlier span built in 1922 and demolished in 1990.
The bridge is one of seven major bridge structures in the Tri-Cities area. The Blue Bridge (another Pasco/Kennewick bridge), the Interstate 182 Bridge that connects Pasco with Richland, the U.S. Highway 12 bridge over the Snake River (Pasco/Burbank), and three railroad bridges are the others.
The bridge was the first in the United States to use a 'cable-stayed' design and is constructed almost entirely of prestressed concrete. The bridge towers were constructed first, with the bridge deck, which was cast in individual segments, raised up and secured to each other.
The bridge was named after Ed Hendler, a Pasco, Washington insurance salesman, as well as the city's former mayor, who headed up the committee responsible for obtaining the funding for construction of the bridge. Hendler died in August 2001.
A controversial feature of the bridge was added in 1998, when lights were added to illuminate the bridge at night. Many thought this was unnecessary and a waste of both electricity and money. During a power crisis in 2000, the lights were turned off, but they were turned on for one night to honor Hendler's passing. Now the lights are turned on at night, and turned off at 2 am.
In March 2007, the old guard rail system on the bridge, which consisted of steel cables, was replaced with a more rigid system, consisting of steel rails bolted to the original system's mounts on the bridge deck.
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