Thursday, April 28, 2011

Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge

Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge


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A few photos of Eugene's Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge and the Willamette River nearby. It's not a very interesting bridge; it's a grey concrete bridge from 1968 that carries Interstate 105 (and not Washington or Jefferson streets) over the Willamette. I only took photos of it because we happened to stay at a hotel nearby a few years ago, and the bridge was right out the window, so there was basically zero effort involved.

To give you some idea of just how uninteresting the bridge is, there's no Wikipedia article about it, and there isn't even a Structurae page for it, which tells you that even hardcore bridge nerds don't pay attention to it.

Willamette River near Washington-Jefferson St. Bridge

I forgot I'd taken any photos of the bridge until I bumped into them in a dark corner of iPhoto recently, and I realized these were the only photos I have of anything at all in Eugene, since I basically never go there or even give much thought to the place. Prior to these photos, I think the last time I'd been to Eugene was back in college in 1990, when a friend dragged me to a Grateful Dead show at Autzen Stadium. I'll just say it was anthropologically fascinating; musically less so.

Willamette River near Washington-Jefferson St. Bridge

I've always thought it was strange that Eugene ended up with a little Interstate highway of its very own, but apparently there were once proposals for an even more elaborate freeway system. The Roosevelt Freeway was cancelled around the same time as Portland's Mt. Hood Freeway, and repeated proposals for a so-called "West Eugene Parkway" have been thwarted by community opposition.

Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge

I don't claim to have any insight into Eugene beyond the common hippie stereotypes, and I don't like trading in stereotypes, so I don't know what (if anything) people think about the bridge, or the interstate in general. I'd tend to assume they aren't fans, or more precisely there are very vocal activists within the larger community who aren't fans. But I really have no idea.

Willamette River near Washington-Jefferson St. Bridge

The opposite side of the bridge is home to Washington/Jefferson Park, which sits on either side of, and partly underneath, the bridge. The city refers to it as "previously troubled", and notes that they're putting in a big skatepark under the bridge to help revitalize the place. I think they're hoping for something like Portland's Burnside Skatepark, which was built guerrilla style back in the 1980s.

Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge

So anyway, I've posted all the Eugene photos I own, and I've filled a non-geotagged hole in this humble blog's map of the world (or I will once I generate an updated version of the map, since that's still not automatic.) On my big TODO and Maybe-TODO list for this blog, there are currently no additional Eugene-area items, and I also don't know of any compelling non-blog reasons to make the two hour drive south. I'm not saying I won't think about Eugene again for another 20 years, but I can't rule it out either. So, um, enjoy.

Willamette River near Washington-Jefferson St. Bridge

Willamette River near Washington-Jefferson St. Bridge

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