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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 10, 2008 3:06 PM. The previous post in this blog was Tales of two developers. The next post in this blog is Candidates Gone Wild = Zimbabwe. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

What the new I-5 interstate bridge really needs

If it's going to be truly Portland... an eco-roof!

A fellow named Bill Badrick has produced elaborate drawings of such a feature for the project, and they're on display now at the Lucky Lab Brewery on NW Quimby. Come on, Portlanders -- let's make a statement!

Comments (29)

I love the idea. I am wondering how much it would cost. If it isn't to extravagant i think it might be a legitimate idea to push.

I'd like to make a "statement" but I can't find all the characters necessary on this keyboard.

not sure about all that Bio mass on the structure but lets do something truly sustainable. Overbuild it so it will last 100+ years. Make it large enough for expansions and if you want to be eco throw some windmills on top to take advantage of the gusts down the Columbia.

Enviros say we cant have windmills. They hurt birds. Besides, didnt Gov Ted ban them on the Oregon coast? He would probably have something to say about them on the river too.

Hey, I think thats a good place for Dignity Village.

i'd like a bridge 138 lanes wide, but with solar panels and a bioswale.

oh, and a Starbucks at the halfway point. solar-powered, of course.

Truly sustainable would be to blow up the existing bridges and make everyone swim.

Healthier, too!

Given the importance of the I-5 freeway to interstate commerce, I hope the Feds will step in before the navel gazing gets any more frivolous tp mandate a reasonable design and construction deadline.

Or was the eco-bridge just a joke?

Or was the eco-bridge just a joke?

I think the safest default position when assessing terms or titles for seriousness is whether or not they contain the prefix "eco-".

If so then proceed to "joke".

This rule does not apply to blog commenters, of course. ;-)

Nice but too close to reality. It reminds me of Vera's plan to cover the freeway downtown with a park. I responded to it with this and it landed me a column job at the Tribune:
"There is nothing wrong with Mayor Katz’s idea to cover a section of freeway downtown, as long as it doesn’t interfere with my plan to divert the Willamette and run it up 82nd. If more land downtown is the goal, why half-step it? If divided neighborhoods are a problem, what about a city divided?
The idea came to me during Hawthorne Bridge Reconstruction Project 1139-B. President Clinton had been calling for us to build a bridge to the 21st century. I just hadn’t realized it would be the Hawthorne Bridge. Much later the idea returned, as I waited for the drawbridge to lower while the ship called Portland Spirit sailed down the river: We will always be a city divided until we move the Willamette somewhere else.
Let’s look at the goals of the Katz plan: First, we would get a few more blocks of land downtown. More buildings, more city park space. Who among us hasn’t gone outside to eat lunch on a sunny day and said, ”Sure, this is nice, but not as nice as if I knew there was a ten-lane freeway underneath me”?
Secondly, it would help spur new downtown construction. Just last week, I walked an entire block without seeing a new building. Okay, they were still pile driving the foundation, but you get the point. One of the fun parts of the new plan will be seeing how pile driving and freeway driving coexist. “Honey, you better change lanes, there’s a 30-foot pole being hammered into the ground up ahead”.
Another goal would be to reunite neighborhoods. There is nothing like a big construction project to bring neighbors together. And they should be brought together. Take those of you in the suburbs: How many times have you said to yourselves, ”Yes, I’m enjoying Gresham, but I just feel so disconnected from Tigard right now”? That’s a problem downtown shouldn’t have to face.
Under my plan, acres of riverbed would be freed up for new spending projects. I’d leave it to lesser minds to decide on these. Maybe a new covered North/South freeway? Or a Frisbee Golf Course. Certainly, we need to look ahead. We probably should set aside some of it for when PDX airport expansion reaches downtown.
You might be wondering, ”How exactly would channeling the Willamette up 82nd look?” I’m guessing that the river would have to be much narrower and a whole lot deeper, but I’m a visionary; not an engineer. And you’re probably asking, ”Wouldn’t this shatter 82nd’s cultural identity?” Yes, with any luck at all. Besides, if that turns out to be a problem, future generations could consider moving the river out to the I-205 corridor. We can’t solve everything here.
Finally, you might begin to question if these millions of dollars could be better spent? Of course they could be. Visions do not come cheap, but they’re a lot more fun than spending money on the dull stuff. Plus, everyone has a good laugh later when they compare the final cost to the initial estimates. And here is where my plan is far superior to the Mayor’s idea to cap the downtown freeway. Why? Because when you talk about spending taxpayer money, you should never mention putting a cap on anything."
As a columnist I had my moments.

I think it would celebrate everything Portland is about. Now if we can just figure out how to re-purpose the existing bridge for some other use.

Yes! Then when to Couv's come to visit they can walk (zero pollution mode of transport) to PDX.

To borrow from Bill's idea. Just drain the river and folks can walk across, or reroute it south of Portland and then claim to be part of Washington state and people from Vancouver won't feel bad about shopping in Portland to save taxes.

Sorry Bill!

BCB

Where's the homeless camps, drug pushers, the taggers, and the police taking note of any associated crime? Maybe I could get the police excited by riding a dirt bike across this proposed bridge.

If I had my druthers, I'd build a third bridge so as to bypass the city of Portland and the nutcases running the joint.

Too acidic, hey?

Pure genius!

Vancouver Wa already built a smaller version over State Hwy 14 just east of the Interstate bridge.
Can't find any good pics but here'e two links

http://www.dogcaught.com/2008/02/10/vancouver-land-bridge-101/

http://www.confluenceproject.org/project_sites/fort_vancouver/

What is needed, instead of a bridge, is a moving, rotating number of barges shaped as fragments of the Pledge of Allegiance that commuters must hop, Frogger-like, from one to another, thereby assuring that only the most talented and patriotic workers are assured passage ("and to the Republic —oh boy—for which it stands —D'oh!").

Vito Acconci, where are you?

A higher elevation bridge over the Columbia is not a bad idea, but I don't see it as a priority right now. The state of Washington has 2 multi-billion dollar bridge projects of more importance, the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the SR520 Floating Bridge over Lake Washington.

What would do the most good for the I-5 corridor is first of all extend MAX light rail on a new, separate bridge to Vancouver. Having MAX in place for a few years would make it simpler to determine exactly how many lanes are needed on a new I-5 bridge. We might be able to get by with only 4 lanes, 3 thru-lanes and 1 entrance/exit lane.

Vancouver MAX would bring thousands of permanent, Small Business jobs and build a more dynamic economy in Vancouver. Not only would Vancouveruns get high-capacity, high-speed, comfortable regional transit, they'd get new jobs, services and amenities closer to home. MAX to Vancouver is a no-brainer.

How about a hemp rope bridge?

Vancouver MAX would bring thousands of permanent, Small Business jobs and build a more dynamic economy in Vancouver.

South Waterfront development and Tram/Streetcar service will bring thousands of permanent, Small Business jobs and build a more dynamic economy in Portland.

MAX to Vancouver is a no-brainer.

Thinking Vancouver WANTS it (or needs it) is the no-brain part.

MAX to Vancouver is a no-brainer.

Literally.

Art, are you trying to sell the Vancouver Max as another "linch pin" to a "dynamic economy"? I've had it up to here in linch pins from politicians and planners. SoWhat, with its trolleys and trams can't even support a coffee shop as the Tribune pointed out yesterday.

Vancouveruns have to decide what future they prefer: suburban sprawl and long-distance commuting, or, downtown and general Vancouver infill development that creates jobs closer to home. Oh, that sounds just terrible. Vancouveruns really enjoy being stuck in traffic every day where they can blame Portland for being so darned liberal they won't build Vancouver a new and bigger I-5 bridge.

BTW, Vancouver was right to reject the 1995 MAX proposal. Yep. That proposal went to Clark County Fairgrounds. The new proposal has more emphasis on heading east near SR500 to Vancouver mall where more people will use it. There's actually more support for MAX from Vancouveruns today than back then. No brainer.

Vancouverans have to decide what future they prefer...

Exactly. It's their (individual) decision. Don't let politicians and populism stand in the way.

No brainer, indeed.

How about hiring an independent engineering firm to provide cost estimates for two bridges: one with light rail and one without.

Then ask the voters which they prefer.

If they vote for the cheaper to build option (which they will), Sam Adams and the Blumin' Bowtie will still shove it down our bi-state throats. But at least we'll have a public vote repudiating their vintage view of public transport.

The future of transportation will be ULEV and electric personal vehicles. Which enables you to avoid the drama of the tattoed homeless family and their bulldogs. Plus, you don't have to walk from the light rail station to your home.

Personal transport is safer, cheaper, more convenient, and faster (if we grow our infrastructure to meet the demand). That's why Sammy Boy still owns a pickup.

Personal transport does everything better, except line construction company and union pockets.

The option that includes light rail is a lot less expensive in the long-run. Up front, we pay more, but long-term, light rail to Vancouver is a total bargain. And don't worry, those businessmen in zuit suits and the women with gobs of hairspray, pounds of makeup and plastered smiles riding MAX are mostly harmless even though they smell and they're ugly and obnoxious.

Sorry, because of a few wealthy airplane hobbyists the bridge has to be short (no trees).


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