Railroad Bridge Park
The City of Sequim is home to the historic Railroad Bridge Park. This bridge was once part of a bustling railway that ran from Port Townsend to Port Angeles, and then west to connect with many logging railroads. The first train ran across this bridge in July, 1915, and was built by the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St Paul Railway, later called the Milwaukee Road. Most of the cargo that went across this bridge was timber from the Olympic Peninsula, but railway passenger cars also used the bridge until the 1930’s. In 1980, the Milwaukee Road sold the line to the Seattle and North Coast Railroad and in 1985 the line was abandoned. The last train crossed this bridge in March, 1985. However, in 1992, volunteers turned the bridge into a bike and pedestrian trail and in 1995 the property surrounding the bridge was purchased by the Washington State Audubon Society who created the Dungeness River Center and park, called Railroad Bridge Park. The bridge (approx. 150 feet) and trestle (approx. 600 feet) span the Dungeness River and are also part of the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT). (The ODT will cross 130 miles from Port Townsend to the Pacific Ocean at LaPush when finished.)
Unfortunately, this past February, the nearly 100 year old trestle sustained damage during a heavy rainstorm from the rising water and falling trees. The trestle and bridge are now closed until repairs can be made. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, owners of the trestle, hope to rebuild the collapsed section but do not have a timeline as of yet. So, until then, the ODT can be accessed by an alternate route
The Railroad Bridge Park is one of my favorite places to go for walks and to take photos. Earlier this year the Sequim City Arts Advisory Commission put out a “Call to Artist”. They were looking for wall art depicting “What Sequim Means to Me”. My image (above) of the bridge and trestle, titled “A Walk In The Park”, was excepted into the juried exhibit and will be on display at the new Sequim Civic Center from May (or as soon as construction is completed) through December, 2015. (The image is printed on a 20×30 sheet of aluminum metal.) If you’re passing through Sequim, stop by the new Civic Center to see this and other images/works from local artist.
This image was taken in October of 2014, just a few months before the February rainstorm.