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Monday 04.25.11

« Plethora Lucida | Main | Rubbings From the Rose City »

CRC design decision, do or die? it looks like die

Governors Gregiore and Kitzhaber are about to announce the type of bridge they hope to build for the Columbia River Crossing. If it isn't a cable stay design, I predict it will be stopped. If it is a cable stay it will still face intense pressure.

Cable Stay Design, which was not chosen.

Update: And in a dark day for Oregon and Washington they have chosen the composite deck truss design, for cheapness and alleged expediency sake (never a good idea on a 3+ billion dollar project). Expect Oregonians to rally against this (the cable stay design was superior in terms of seismic survivability and with less piers had a smaller environmental profile in the water). Also, the cable stay didn't look gawd awful with zero appeal for pedestrians and bicyclists. Instead, this design creates a festering "below deck" tunnel between Portland and Vancouver. It's hardly the sort of design that brings people together and Oregon and Washington's Governors have failed in a key leadership moment (though Kitzhaber claims the cable stay was his overall preference, he still chose the other design for expediency and cost reasons). The Governors also stated the project could now, "immediately engage bridge architects and designers." Yes, if they get a world class designer maybe this bad decision can be saved, but if not it should be killed. Honestly, I'm not expecting any major designers worth their salt will be involved to fix this backwards mess, which required a major designer from the outset due tro the complexity and need for multi community buy-in.

Since I believe this project is necessary I believe killing the wrong bridge now will make room for the right bridge when this project can be undertaken the right way to garner true support. Has Kitzhaber signed his own political death warrant? Perhaps, most press is already looking into the Governor's monetary connection to the project and the actual math behind its financing. The Governors are also promising an independent financial review to be completed later this year.

Expect fireworks (and lawyers) as the design savvy and politically connected join forces with the kill the bridge crowd for a common purpose. The Governors now have one shot, hire a major architect like Brad Cloepfil or MVRDV to fix this. Something tells me they wont event take the job if asked.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 25, 2011 at 10:10 | Comments (0)


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