I haven’t seen any kind of press release, but this letter to the Governor just popped up in the RSS feed for the Mayor’s office (I think they have to upload attachments before they can create the parent post).
In addition to the Mayor pushing the cable-stayed option for the Columbia River Crossing, it also appears that whatever the bridge choice, we’re going to need a Supplemental DEIS – a partial do-over. If that’s true, why not take the time to seriously look at a supplemental bridge option?
5 responses to “Mayor Adams Pushing for Cable-Stayed CRC”
my impression with the current choice is that the folks in vancouver don’t want to re-orient their highways. and to that I say too bad. First off, they are the ones who seem to be clamoring for a 12-lane throughway across the river so maybe they should see some simulations of what that would actually look like without the magic of a curved bridge.
Sam and I had a little tiff during the campaign of 2008 over the proposal to repurpose the old span to Sauvie Island as a pedestrian and bike bridge over I 405 at NW Flanders. I tried to convince him that it was technically impossible to support a truss span on the retaining walls there, even if the move could be pulled off.
Ironically, a cable-stayed bridge, with a tower in the median of the freeway, would be the proper structural type there, because all the loads would be channeled away from the big retaining walls to the central tower.
The renderings of a cable-stayed bridge to Vancouver look very nice, so kudos to our mayor for good taste in visual appeal. But the best scheme technically would be a deck-arch, like the one proposed for the new bridge at Sellwood: better clearance for ships and airplanes; optimal grade for roadway; pleasing aesthetics from Roman times to ours.
TriMet’s unfortunate flirtation with the ill-starred “wave-frame” scheme for its new transit bridge, proposed by a “bridge-architect” on the basis of visual appeal, should be a caution to the, “This is pretty, build it,” approach to structural design. It weighed so much that it could barely support itself, let alone trains, busses, cyclists, pedestrians. The cable-stayed design proffered by professional engineers was much lighter, fully functional, aesthetically excellent.
I praise Sam for demanding visual appeal of major infrastructure, but wish he would talk to me first.
My first preference, years ago, was if nothing else, build the MAX bridge. The first bridge I could and still can support is the single-level southbound bridge (plus MAX/bike/ped) and leave the existing bridges in place for northbound traffic; still the least expensive option. A matching span would be built in the not so distance future and the old spans removed then.
However, I’ve always been concerned about the convoluted and seemingly hazardous Hayden Island Interchange more than the main span. I support ‘only’ the Concept#1 off-island access proposal. I suggest its beautiful simplification of ramp design justifies reducing the number of main span lanes from 10+ to 8+ lanes.
Nobody from Metro, City Hall, nor the transportation activist community cares to disprove my preferences have potential to expedite the planning process, reduce costs and impacts, and result in a properly engineered project. The State DOTs (Washington more than Oregon) are committing highway robbery in selecting the most expensive options at a time when needs are great and budgets are tight.
There is no need whatever for freeway access to Hayden Island.
Run the Yellow Line to a transit center on Hayden Island via an arterial bridge, with another arterial connection to Vancouver. Oregon should not insist on light rail to Clark County; light rail to Vancouver should be the call of Clark County.
The Oregon Transportation Commission meets Wednesday morning, 16 March 2011, in Salem. Be there and be heard!
A cable-stayed CRC would not require, at all, the realignment of anything in downtown Vancouver.
See also: CRC straight line across Hayden Island
Safeway, Hooters, part of the Red Lion, etc would be replaced. Vancouver would barely have to move anything. I’ll repeat the suggestion I had five years ago if we want to go this route: Express lanes that bypass Marine Drive, Jantzen Beach, SR-14, and Mill Plain Blvd. A few express lanes from SR-500 to Columbia Blvd could untangle a lot for a relatively low price, but they’d also likely cause a little bit of sprawl. At what point might that trade-off become worth it?