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Saturday, April 12, 2008

He swears it would work

The other day, we blogged half-jokingly about one Portlander's proposal to put an eco-roof park on the new I-5 interstate bridge between Portland and the 'Couv. But Bill Badrick, whose concept we featured, insists he's not kidding. He writes:

I had so much fun with the comments generated on your post, I thought you may like to see this technical cross section. It illustrates how this can be built, and I hope, how cool the park could be. From the protected bike lanes to the glassed-in walkways at the edges of the aerodynamic wing, each function has its place. The naysayers bring up cost, of course, but performance is about value. The Park Roof protects all the users in the fierce winter storms, increasing safety and traffic speed, and eliminates expensive repainting for decades. (We all know what we just spent repainting the Willamette bridges.) I'll bet dollars for donuts that this will cost out the same as an ugly concrete bridge in "life-cycle" numbers, and the value in "quality of life" is better every day!

Hey, who am I to argue with a visionary?

Comments (19)

Yeah, some sound-minded 'good' provincial Oregonians, kibbitzing from the cheap seats, vote for visionary, too.

Can we build stuff like this?, Editorial opinion, Albany Democrat Herald, March 31, 2008.

If the British and French can design and build spectacular bridges at a modest or at least reasonable cost, why can’t we? Or maybe we can, but we haven’t tried it lately, at least not ...

DeFazio: Deregulation behind economic woes, By Hasso Hering, Albany Democrat-Herald, March 19, 2008.

Congressman Peter DeFazio says the Wall Street credit crisis is another result of too much deregulation of parts of the American economy.
He said he may look at bonding for highway projects, and he’ll also favor private capital “in a regulated way.” He’s against the idea of putting tolls on existing public roads or giving private contractors carte blanche to build roads and then charge whatever they want.

As a model for what might be done, particularly on big projects, DeFazio has been mightily impressed by the Millau Viaduct, the world’s tallest highway bridge, in the Central Massif of southern France.

The viaduct was completed in 2004 on a main road between Paris and Barcelona in order to prevent summertime traffic jams. The six-lane toll bridge took three years and $700 million to build, DeFazio said, far less than he’s been told a new crossing of the Columbia River would cost.

He’s called the Millau project to the attention of Portland and ODOT officials talking about ...

Picture it ...

Oops, Wait, oversies, sheesh -- now we get the picture ...

Let's build the park and forget about the freeway underneath.

All the extra weight (dirt, flora, people, and -- most of all -- WATER) would increase the load factor on the bridge by 2 or 3 times. That means a much more expensive bridge.

And it's silly to think the bridge would require less maintenance: it would just be harder/more expensive to maintain within the enclosure.

Does anybody remember the leaking pond at the Classical Chinese Garden? If they can't build a leak-proof pond, what makes you think they can build a leak-proof bridge?

We need less vision, and more costing engineers.

I thought these drawings were fun - a dig at the scramble to green everything. In that capacity, they were great, reminding me of a cover of the New Yorker. If he's serious, then this becomes a ludicrous waste of time which means our City Council will soon commit several hundred thousand dollars on a feasibility study. I don't think he is serious, though. Just start with the 2 tall trees in the drawing. I wonder how much soil they would need to remain standing? Yeah, I'm going to stick with my first opinion: The guy is just kidding, but why stop here? Why not a reflecting pool on top so people flying into Portland won't see a bridge at all?

Just imagine the lovely aroma of all that engine exhaust wafting through the park. Oh, and the noise.

It would also take one helluva counterweight to lift that sucker so ships could pass. But that alone would be worth the price of admission to the park.

What? This thing ain't gonna pay for itself!

Just imagine the lovely aroma of all that engine exhaust wafting through the park. Oh, and the noise.

The Vera Katz East Bank Esplanade has proven that these are not problems.

here's a modest proposal: how about we just cover the Columbia entirely?

imagine: 3,417 lanes, no waiting, no rush hour. pave over Camas to ease the Portland-Seattle commute.

who needs this "river" stuff and "nature" crap, anyway? it's getting in the way.

and no public transit--make all the lanes wider to accomodate larger, safer vehicles. small/electric/hybrid cars will be restricted to the right lane only, between 8-10pm.

it just might work.

Oh Lord - there would be a stooge who would take this idea seriously. Sheesh, get a life, quit wasting our money (and time) - build a big bridge and let's get on with it.

What scares me about Badricks proposal is that he claims that it wouldn't cost anymore than other solutions. Then Sam the Tram will read this, accept his knee-jerk price and it will be his next green project.

Ecohuman: building a bridge to serve automobiles and reduce traffic was considered an unqualified public benefit for most of the past 100 years.

It's only become fashionable to hate the automobile (and refuse to build new auto infrastructure) in the last 30 years.

If you look at a city like San Diego (which has been on a freeway construction binge for 40 years), they accomodate a population rising at twice the PDX rate with ease, and with LESS CONGESTION than 20 years ago.

To borrow a phrase from the global warming alarmists: what if you're wrong?

What if underfunding auto infrastructure in favor of transit doubles the amount of time that people/goods require to go from point A to point B?

What if "how we get there matters" ad campaigns don't move anybody out of their cars?

Then what?

Watch your back Mr. Tee, some local zealot might rise up and get physical defending the "Keep Portland Weird" concept.

Mr. Tee,

I lived in San Diego for 12 years (not my idea) and found your sentence interesting.

"on a freeway construction binge for 40 years." True, and it has created some of the most god-awful concrete hells known to man. Please consult your Joni Mitchell albums for further comment.

"they accomodate a population rising at twice the PDX rate with ease, and with LESS CONGESTION than 20 years ago." I hope you are being sarcastic but I doubt it. It makes me wonder why the wife would take two hours to drive 10 miles on an average Friday. Maybe she should have driven home with "ease" on some other route, or taken the invisible train.

Ecohuman: building a bridge to serve automobiles and reduce traffic was considered an unqualified public benefit for most of the past 100 years.

Mister Tee, did you read my proposal? I'm serious. let's do it. are you against it?

I have finally cracked this drawing. The intent is fraudulent - this is obviously not an authentic Portland vision. Why? I've stared at the drawing for hours and I still do not see a skateboard park.

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