University Bridge Construction and Widening Photograph Albums, 1932-1933

Overview of the Collection

Seattle (Wash.). City Engineer
University Bridge Construction and Widening Photograph Albums
1932-1933 (inclusive)
4 volume
Collection Number
Two albums containing 110 and 344 photos, respectively, of the 1933 University Bridge reconstruction and widening.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Engineering Department (SED) maintained the City's streets and bridges, designed and oversaw construction of public works projects, provided traffic and transportation planning, and operated the sewer and solid waste utility. The position of City Surveyor was created in 1873 to survey the City, establish boundaries and street grades, and administer condemnation processes. This position was renamed City Engineer in 1890. In 1931 the Engineering Department absorbed part of the Department of Public Utilities and in 1936 it assumed the responsibilities of the Department of Streets and Sewers and the Traffic Department. In 1997, the water, solid waste, drainage, and wastewater utilities from the Engineering and Water departments were merged with the Engineering Services Division of SED and the Customer Service Call Center and Construction Engineering Sections of City Light to form Seattle Public Utilities. The traffic and transportation functions of the Engineering Department were consolidated in the Seattle Transportation Department.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The University bascule bridge was originally constructed in 1919. In 1932, a large-scale widening and reconstruction was undertaken. The wood trestle was replaced with steel and concrete, the control towers were rebuilt, and the span was widened by two lanes. The wood surface of the span was replaced with open steel mesh, its first use in the United States. The bridge reopened April 7, 1933.

Both albums contain photos of the construction work in 1932 and early 1933. All photos are numbered and dated. Album 1 photos are contained within their original album and accompanied by captions explaining the work that was being done and materials used. They show the bridge before and after the reconstruction; workers and engineers; brackets, stringers, supports, and general framework of the bridge; and installation of the open-mesh steel flooring. Album 2 photos are separated from the original album and do not contain descriptive information.

Prints in this album come from Seattle Engineering Department negatives which have been digitized, described, and are available online on our digital collections site.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], University Bridge Widening Photograph Album, Record Series 2613-32. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Bridges--Design and construction--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Public works--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • University District

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)--Buildings, structures, etc.--Photographs