That iconic bridge known as the Interstate Bridge, or I-5 Bridge, has been with us for over 100 years. But how much do we know about the bridge? Test your I-5 Bridge knowledge with these known and little-known facts. Answers are at the bottom.

i5 Bridge
Antique postcard of the I-5 Bridge shortly after it opened. Photo credit: Elizabeth R Rose


  1. In what year was the I-5 Bridge opened to the public?

2. How did people cross the river before then?

3. Besides cars, bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians, what other mode of transportation used the I-5 Bridge?

4. How long is the bridge?

5. How can tall boats or boats with tall masts pass through the bridge?

6. Who has priority on the I-5 Bridge walkway. pedestrians or cyclists?

7. What is the name of the red metal sculpture at the base of the bridge near Warehouse 23?

8. What is the name of the paved trail that goes under the I-5 Bridge?

9. What is the name of the now-terminated project that proposed a replacement for the I-5 Bridge?

10. What color is the I-5 Bridge?

i5 Bridge
Public sculpture at the base of the I-5 Bridge. Photo credit: Elizabeth R Rose


  1. The bridge opened to traffic in 1917 as a single bridge, carrying two-way traffic.

2. Ferries operated by Pacific Railway, Light & Power Co. An alternative was private boat.

3. Both Vancouver and Portland had electric streetcars. The streetcars crossed the bridge from 1917 to 1940. To do this, dual gauge track was needed because Vancouver’s streetcars operated on different size track from the Portland streetcars.

4. 3,538 feet long

5. The bridge is designed with a vertical lift called a Parker Vertical Lift. The Parker lift and truss is named after Charles H. Parker who patented the design in 1870.

6. Pedestrians always have priority. Cyclists are supposed to slow down and make sure pedestrians know they are there before passing. Cyclists follow the directional signage. Pedestrians should walk against the flow of bicycle and vehicle bridge traffic for safety. I-5 Bridge map.

7. Boat of Discovery. Installed in 1992, the “Boat of Discovery” is a metal, concrete, and brick piece. Its dedication coincided with the bicentennial celebration of the exploration and naming of the Columbia River in 1792.

8. The Waterfront Renaissance Trail connects Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver with Wintler Park along a paved, five-mile long riverfront trail.

9. The Columbia River Crossing (CRC) was a joint freeway project between Oregon and Washington, which proposed to widen and modernize Interstate 5 where it crossed the Columbia River. The project involved the replacement of the Interstate Bridge.

10. Green.

We hope you enjoyed this trivia game about Vancouver’s most recognized bridge. It’s over 100 years old and carrying massive amounts of traffic to and from Portland each day.

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