Eldridge designed bridges for the City of Seattle, where his designs gained him much recognition. During his time with the City of Seattle many of the city’s most recognizable and innovative bridges were constructed.
In 1936 Eldridge accepted a position with the Washington State Highway Department. He soon was developing designs for two of the state’s most famous bridges, the Lake Washington Floating Bridge and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Eldridge submitted the first design for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which looked very similar to the replacement bridge built in 1950. This design was rejected due to excessive cost. The design was then modified by consulting engineer Leon Moisseiff. Eldridge was left in charge of the construction for the modified design which was completed in 1940.
Four months after completion of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Eldridge witnessed the collapse of “Galloping Gertie”. Though Moisseiff received most of the blame for the failure, Eldridge took his share of the responsibility and his name was forever associated with the collapse.
- Designer, City of Seattle Bridge Department (1921-1932)
- City Bridge Engineer, City of Seattle Bridge Department (1932-1936)
- Bridge Designer, Washington State Highway Department (1936-1941)
- Construction Consultant, US Navy Guam (Prisoner of War) (1941-1945)
- Consulting Engineer (1945-1958)
- County Engineer, Skamania County Washington, (1958-1966)
Spanning Washington, Craig Holstine & Richard Hobbs, WSU Press, 2005