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The Historic Pacific Highway
in Washington

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Whipple Creek Crossing

From 1865 to 1870 a wagon road was built from Vancouver to La Center and on to Olympia. This road became the main trunk road north out of Vancouver. A section of this road ran on what is today's NE 10th Ave. from NE 139th St. northward to Pioneer and then connects to what is now NE Timmen Rd. 

In 1900 this wagon road became a section of State Highway "1" and at Whipple Creek the original wagon road was graded and straightened to follow the section line and a wooden bridge was built. 

In 1915 the state designated this wagon road as a section of the Pacific Highway.

In 1921 when the state began to pave the highway the old wooden bridge across Whipple Creek most likely had become unstable and needed to be replaced. Instead of replacing this bridge, the state just rerouted the highway down the gully on NE Union Rd. This was probably done to avoid rebuilding a new bridge and to save the state some money in the process.

At NE 164th St. The Pacific Highway was realigned onto what is now NE Union Rd. The new "State Highway 99" then connected to NE 20th Ave. and then continued south toward Vancouver. At NE 164th you can still see the original 1922 pavement on NE Union Rd. before it becomes blocked by Interstate 5.

So the State Highway across Whipple Creek lasted for 21 years.

In March of 2018, Clark County built a new concrete bridge across Whipple Creek where the old wooden wagon bridge had been. It took almost 100 years for this section of the old original 1915 Pacific Highway over Whipple Creek to be reconnected.

I want to thank "Flathead" Fred for alerting me to this new crossing.

1894 Clark County Map

2018 map showing the 1915 highway (red line) and the 1922 highway (blue line).

1889 map showing the wagon road which is now NE 10th Ave. 

1896 USGS map revised in 1905

1961 map showing the gap in NE 10th Ave. and Interstate 5 being constructed. 


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