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Sunday 05.21.06

« This Weekend | Main | Malia Jensen (part 3) Representation/ Simulation/ Decay »

Thinking about the next I-5 bridge

The soon to open Ravenel Bridge in Charleston South Carolina

Well, even though I'm ensconced in a foofy hotel somewhere in the Midwest I'm still thinking about my home in Portland Oregon. What do I think about most? Well it isn't the aerial tram or even the art scene, it's the eventual design for the new I-5 bridge across the mighty Columbia River.

For me bridges are the most interesting of architectural projects and although the finished bridge is 10 years away I suspect it will be a cable stayed design like Sir Norman Foster's Millau Viaduct. Why? because it will allow for great views, completely unlike the current truss bridge. The latest cable stayed bridge design to catch my eye is the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston South Carolina. It's fine but I'm unimpressed with how anonymous the cable stayed designs like; the Ravenel, Millau or the Sunshine Skyway bridge in Tampa Florida tend to be. Frankly, I love the fact that Portland's excellent Fremont Bridge design (and PORT's logo inspiration) came from the massive public outcry that the less than stellar Marquam Bridge design produced, let's demand something innovative and distinctive again. Still, our project will be much more demanding as rail will need to be incorporated as well? ...2 decks with a bottom one for rail freight?

Posted by Jeff Jahn on May 21, 2006 at 22:59 | Comments (1)


Some of you have mentioned Santiago Calatrava as an optimal choice. I agree that he's definitely the most distinctive architecht for cable stayed designs but I'd like to see another international competition to determine the architect. Still this will be a large very expenisve project and we should definitely get something iconic.

The current I-5 bridges are probably part of the reason Vancouver Washington suffers in aesthetic esteem, despite being one of the fastest growing communities in the nation.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 23, 2006 06:58 AM

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