WA Carries on with Novel Bridge Plan

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2015

OLYMPIA, WA—A proposal to build a bridge from retired Navy aircraft carriers has gotten a $90,000 salute from Washington State representatives.

The idea comes from Rep. Jesse Young, a Republican whose legislative district, Gig Harbor, is commonly referred to as "Bridge to Bridge."

Young has proposed using two or three aircraft carriers to connect Bremerton and Port Orchard across the Sinclair Inlet.

According to Young, three carriers end-to-end would cross the entire inlet, but he prefers a two-carrier design joined by a more traditional span.

'Active Consideration'

"I know that people from around the world would come to drive across the deck of an aircraft carrier bridge, number one," Young told KUOW.org.

"Number two, it's the right thing to do from my standpoint, because this is giving a testimony and a legacy memorial to our greatest generation."

Media reports said that although no carriers are immediately available, the bridge is under "active consideration."

A highway budget bill that passed the state's House is offering up $90,000 to study the plan's feasibility, with a Dec. 1, 2015, deadline for submission to the Legislature.

Rep. Jesse Young
Official photo

No ships? No problem, says Young. "That is the beautiful thing about opportunities ... no one ever says they'll be easy, just that the greater the difficulty, the greater the accomplishment," Young wrote in an email to KUOW.org.

However, there is still a possibility that the funding could get cut from the final 2015-17 state transportation budget.

2 Ships in Mind

Young reportedly has his eye on the USS Independence and the USS Kitty Hawk.

A Navy spokesman told media outlets that "neither of the ships are currently available." 

The USS Independence, currently in Bremerton, is set to be shipped to Texas for recycling this year. The USS Kitty Hawk is in reserve until the new supercarrier, Gerald Ford, is fully operational. 

Navy policy requires that the carriers be reused as a museum or disposed of at a ship-breaking yard, the spokesman said.

That hasn't stopped Young.

"That is the beautiful thing about opportunities," he wrote in an email to KUOW.org.

"[N]o one ever says they'll be easy—just that the greater the difficulty, the greater the accomplishment."


Editor's Note: This article was updated at 9 a.m. ET April 17, 2015 to switch a photo of the USS Independence (LCS-1) with the correct ship, the USS Independence (CV-62). PaintSquare News regrets the error.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Funding; North America; Program/Project Management; Roads/Highways; Shipyards; U.S. Navy

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