Archive | February, 2008

Columbia River Crossing – Aesthetics in the News

Metroblogging Portland pointed out an article in today’s Oregonian about the constraints a new bridge design will face when it comes to elevation and appearance:

Limits offer ‘no poetry’ for I-5 bridge

Vertical constraints for a new Columbia span could mean a simple, flat design

Some of the region’s political leaders have said yes. They want a new Interstate 5 span not only to cross the Columbia River, connecting Portland and Vancouver, but also to be worthy of a postcard, showcasing a world-famous river at the border of two states bent on sustainability. Perhaps it could soar like Portland’s Fremont Bridge or even San Francisco’s Golden Gate.

But under the first round of plans, the new bridge will be a flat concrete slab.

The article goes into detail about the reasons why the bridge must be constrained to a narrow 75′ band of airspace. But one thing not given significant mention is an issue of cost: Would removal of those constraints result in a less expensive structure? Would alternative span designs with more visual impact cost more or less than current plans?

Of course, no matter what kind of bridge they build, it couldn’t possibly be as plain and ordinary as the transition along I-5 between Oregon and California. :-)

Breaking News: Streetcar Loop in President’s Budget

Apparently the OMB relented – the Portland Streetcar Loop appears in the President’s budget as a $50M line item (the remaining $25M would be in the following year’s budget).

Avoiding a Congressional battle to get this funding means the project can get started that much sooner!

Distracted

Those of you who follow local news may have noticed that my new project is progressing to the next phase :-)

As a result I’m going to have less time for blogging here. I’m delighted that a number of folks have stepped up to be contributors for Portland Transport, but we could use a few more to make sure we have something to talk about every day.

The other thing that is suffering is the calendar. Unless we have a few more people step up to keep the calendar updated, we’ll probably drop it from the site.