Portland's newest bridge now open (photo Jeff Jahn)
Portland's newest bridge opens today (Trimet rides are fee) but I'm going to hold off on my full review until we've seen it used some. Frankly, it is because I need to see it in use once open to give an comprehensive assessment. We've critiqued the bridge process (3 different architects etc) in a little more detail than other media outlets but I think I'll just fold it into our big 2015 review because it really does say a lot about what Portland has accomplished and still faces in the future. Till then have a look back at the process:
own unofficial design submission contest to drum up more ideas
. Some of our reader's ideas like the belvederes and light show are now featured in the final design. (A good idea is a good idea.)
Architect Miguel Rosales' designs were somewhat anachronistic looking rather than something bold
. Also, in an area that requires the best seismic performance the courting of anachronism wasn't a sensible design. When the big one hits it is likely to be the only usable bridge. His second, still somewhat anachronistic design would have performed seismically but still seemed like it was pandering to a lot of retro loving old time Portlanders
. Costs nixed it.
Last but not least the early designs by Donald MacDonald held a lot of promise and were refined a great deal in the finished project
... which I'll dig into in detail soon (I want to see how the bridge functions more).
Ultimately, a bridge is never just a span... it tells us a lot about ourselves both good so I want to go beyond just the structure and the art situated around it.
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