Sunday, May 29, 2011

Aurora Bridge

Aurora Bridge
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The ongoing bridge project heads north this time, to Seattle's Aurora Bridge. This is the first Seattle bridge I've done; it's not a topic I'm overly familiar with, despite having lived in Seattle until age 6, which really ought to make me an expert. And I'm only managing it now because I had some pictures floating around in the archives from back in 2006, the same trip that took me to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. I wasn't actually doing a bridge project yet, at least not that I was aware of, so I didn't try walking across or anything exciting like that. I was actually in the area to track down the Fremont neighborhood's infamous Lenin statue, and the enormous Volkswagen-eating troll who lives under the north end of the Aurora bridge:

troll

My relatives in Seattle always point to the troll to illustrate just how quirky and alternative their city is, even if they themselves are a rather non-quirky bunch of engineers and accountants. So the troll has civic aspirational value, if nothing else.

troll_detail

The Aurora Bridge has made a cameo here once before, in a post about Portland's Vista Bridge, since unfortunately this is Seattle's favorite suicide bridge. A recent WSDOT project put up a nine foot fence to deter jumpers, at the cost of (I'm told) uglifying the bridge and messing up the view. I haven't been back to Seattle in a few years and haven't seen it for myself. And with that I'm going to stop talking about that particular topic, because (as I've learned with the Vista Bridge) jumpers result in a flood of page hits, and it creeps me out. That's not really the kind of web traffic I'm looking for, thanks.

Aurora Bridge

The bridge does bear an obvious family resemblance to Portland's Ross Island Bridge, as they're both cantilever truss bridges. The Ross Island is significantly longer (3649.1 feet vs. 2945 feet) and slightly older (1926 vs. 1932) and the Aurora is wider (70 feet vs. 43 feet), higher (163 feet vs 123 feet), and has more trolls (1 vs. 0). More exciting vital statistics can be had at the bridge's Structurae page, if you're so inclined.

Aurora Bridge

The last photo also shows a bit of the Fremont neighborhood's Sunday Market. Which, as you might imagine, was aggressively quirky. I took a walk through out of curiosity, but I don't recall actually buying anything, now that I think about it.

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