New York has the Brooklyn Bridge, San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge, and Longview, Washington, has the Nutty Narrows Bridge. We have all seen walkways and bridges over busy roads and expressways, but have you ever seen squirrels on a bridge? There’s a town with bridges built in the treetops so squirrels can cross the streets safely. Keep reading to learn more about this unique and unusual attraction, the Squirrel Bridge Longview WA.
Where is the Squirrel Bridge Longview WA?
The city of Longview is 105 miles outside Seattle, Washington. The squirrel bridge crosses a busy section of Olympia Way adjacent to the Longview City library grounds.
Why Was the Squirrel Bridge Longview WA Built?
Before the bridge, squirrels dodged traffic to retrieve their nutty snacks left by Park Plaza office workers. Every day the squirrels crossed the street, tempted by the food. Many squirrels lost their life flattened by passing cars.
Hence, Amos Peters was inspired to build the squirrel bridge after seeing so many squirrels lose their life. The defining moment was after Peters witnessed a dead squirrel with a nut still in its mouth.
Who Designed the Nutty Narrows Bridge?
Peters talked with his co-workers about his design idea of a Longview squirrel bridge. Several of his friends were on board with the project.
With this intention of building the bridge, they sought the City Council for permission, and to their delight, they got it! Councilwoman Bess LaRiviere dubbed it the “Nutty Narrows Bridge,” and surprisingly, the name held.
Amos Peters and a team of architects built the Nutty Narrows bridge in 1963; it is a crossover bridge that is the world’s narrowest crossing for squirrels and small critters.
The Nutty Narrows is the narrowest bridge in the world and spans 60 feet. It is constructed of aluminum and fire hose material laid flat, serving as the walkway. The project, when completed, costs $1000.
The town celebrated the bridge’s official opening, and the squirrels did not waste time taking advantage of the new attraction. Town residents, overjoyed, watched the momma squirrels escorting and teaching their babies how to cross the Nutty Narrows bridge.
Straightaway, the Associated Press featured the story about Nutty Narrows, and newspapers worldwide circulated the story. Animal lovers from London to Los Angeles sent newspaper clippings, fan mail, and an abundance of nuts to feed the squirrels as a heartfelt thank you to Peters.
The Longview WA Squirrel Bridge Undergoes a Makeover
In 1983, after 20 years of squirrel crossings, Peters removed the worn bridge to repair and replace the failed aluminum framework pieces. In July of that same year, Amos reinstalled the revamped bridge.
The town of Longview was thrilled to welcome Mickey Mouse, Chip, and Dale, who represented the Disneyland theme park, many VIPs, and 300 children who participated in the Nutty Narrows rededication ceremony.
Nutty Narrows Bridge Cam
The Nutty Narrows Bridge Cam is an online web camera installed in 2006. The Nutty Narrows Bridge Cam allows people to watch the squirrels as they cross the bridge and provides entertainment to viewers worldwide.
The camera is located on the south side of the bridge and provides a live feed of the bridge 24 hours a day. A squirrel lookout platform also provides a view of the bridge and the surrounding area.
Amos Peters Squirrel Statue Dedication
Amos Peters’ died in 1984, and the town mourned his death and paid their respects by dedicating a 10-foot squirrel wood sculpture in his memory.
The sculpture, carved by Tom Kell in 2001, has a permanent home across from the Nutty Narrows Bridge. The monument is located on the Longview Public Library grounds near Long-Bell Shay Locomotive No. 5 on Olympia Way.
Nutty Narrows Bridge Relocation Projects
In 2007, the anchor trees were rotten, and engineers moved the bridge 100 yards east. Then in 2010, the bridge was relocated because the council deemed it a traffic hazard. The bridge is now three trees away from the original placement on Olympia Way between 18th Avenue and Maple Street.
Nutty Narrows Listed on the National Register
On July 25, 2013, the City Council voted to place the Nutty Narrows Bridge on the Longview Historic Places Register and the Washington Heritage Register. In 2014, the bridge landed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Squirrel Bridges in Longview Washington
The city boasts an impressive number of squirrel bridges. To date, there are eight squirrel bridges in Longview, Washington.
Nutty Narrows Bridge
The Nutty Narrows Squirrel Bridge is located at Olympia Way near 1525 18th Avenue.
The squirrel bridge was built in 1963 by Amos Peters to connect the West Side Library to Olympia Way. After seeing squirrels attempting to cross Olympia Way, Peters built the bridge to connect the West Side Library to the Old West Side Neighborhood. It is the world’s first squirrel bridge, constructed of aluminum and a fire hose.
Bruce Kamp Squirrel Bridge
Bruce Kamp Squirrel Bridge is located at 1318 Kessler Blvd.
In memory of Bruce Kamp, the first squirrel-covered bridge made of copper was erected in 2011.
John R. Dick Squirrel Bridge
John R. Dick Squirrel Bridge is located at Nichols Blvd. near RA Long High School.
The bridge was built and designed by John R. Dick and installed in 2012, shortly after his death. It is based on the Leonard Zakim Memorial Bridge in Boston. John was interested in bridges his entire life. He enjoyed watching the TV show Boston Legal where the Leonard Zakim Memorial Bridge was frequently featured.
OBEC Squirrel Bridge is located at Louisiana Street, near 1503 23rd Avenue.
The wooden bridge, built and donated by the company that secured the contract to construct a new bridge across Lake Sacajawea on Washington Way, was installed in 2013. The design is noticeable because of its unique architectural bracing.
Safety Awareness Bridge
The Safety Awareness Bridge is located at 1705 Kesseler Blvd.
Bits and Bots Robotics Club of R.A. Long and Mark Morris schools created and built this bridge, inspired by the memory of Linda LaCoursiere, who was struck by a car. Made of aluminum with cutouts and colored material, this bridge is popular with squirrels. It was installed in 2015.
R.D. Olson MFG. Squirrel Bridge
The R. D. Olson MFG Squirrel Bridge is located at 1149-1001 W Kessler Blvd, Longview, WA.
The Lewis and Clark Bridge, in which the R.D. Olson MFG. Squirrel Bridge is based, was constructed by RD Olson Manufacturing of Kelso using modern techniques.
S & R Squirrel Bridge
S & R Squirrel Bridge is located at Kessler Blvd. near 20th Avenue.
This bridge was built for all those young squirrels heading to Kessler Elementary School who need a safe street crossing.
PUD Squirrel Bridge
PUD Squirrel Bridge is located at Kessler Blvd. between 22nd and 23rd Avenue.
Visit an Interactive Map of the Longview Squirrel Bridges
Would you like to visit the squirrel bridges that allow squirrels to get around the city safely? Look at the interactive map of all the squirrel bridges in Longview. Click on the squirrel icon to see a photo and learn more about each bridge.
Don’t Miss the Squirrel Bridges – Conclusion
Well, there you have it. Longview, Washington, has been keeping squirrels safe since 1963. If you visit any of the eight squirrel bridges, we would love to share your experience and photos on our website. Please get in touch with us with your story!
Looking for more squirrel information? Check out more educational and engaging articles about squirrels on our blog.
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