Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 10: Bridges of the Willamette

Bridges of Portland
The Willamette River runs through the middle of Downtown Portland. It is Oregon's largest river and one of the largest in the United States as well. Even in the heart of downtown, you'll find many activities around this beautiful River. When flying into the Portland International Airport, you'll see the tremendous amount if industry in and along the river. It's not called "Port"land for nothing. In the foreground you can see a small amount of the Waterfront Park - with jogging/biking trails along the edge of the river. Many festivals also take place in the parks that line the west side of the river.

Of course, if there is a large river splitting the city in two, then citizens need ways to cross it. Thus, there are many unique and interesting bridges that connect the east and west sides of Portland. Many of the bridges offer bike lanes and pedestrian side walks alongside the road. Some are train only and most are also drawbridges. I was standing on Burnside Bridge when I took this photo (in the pedestrian lane, of course!).  I cross it daily on my way to work.

I thought the two bridges in this photo were interesting side by side - very different. Old and new. Angular and sleek. Dark and light.  There are other bridges in the photo, but I will focus on these two, as they are the most apparent.

In the background, the curved arch is the top of the Fremont Bridge. Finished in the 1970s, this is Portland's newest bridge. It is a double decked bridge and connects two of Portland highways. Because of the height of this bridge, it is not a drawbridge.

The double towered bridge in the right of the photo is the Steel Bridge.  This bridge is used by cars, Amtrak and Portland's light rail, MAX. "Finished in 1912, the Steel Bridge is considered unique because it is one of the only known dual-lift bridges in the world. That is, the lower deck (Amtrak and freight trains) can be lifted independently of the upper deck (MAX, automobiles) to allow some clearance." (taken from www.portlandbridges.com/steel-bridge.html, which referenced Smith, Dwight. Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon. Second Edition. Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society, 1989. P. 208.)

A really neat pair of bridges!!!  I'm glad this summer weather is holding out and allowing for fabulous sunny photos!

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