Sunday, July 06, 2014

Columbia Boulevard Bridge

The final stop on our tour of Portsmouth Cut bridges is the one on Columbia Boulevard. It's the northernmost of the four, borders an industrial area, and carries a lot of commercial truck traffic. It seems to be in better shape than the others (at least from the standpoint of a non-civil-engineer walking across it), and it was widened to four lanes at some point. Its entry in a city bridge inventory says bridge 078 dates to 1909 and 078A dates to 1968, so I imagine that's when the widening happened. I couldn't find any news stories in the Oregonian database about that project to confirm that. I suppose it didn't merit one, as an unattractive bridge in an industrial area, bordering what was then an impoverished neighborhood. Ok, that or the database's search feature is a little substandard and misses stuff you're looking for, which wouldn't be the first time I've run into that. It also does't have Bridgehunter or Structurae pages, only an entry. That's usually a sign this whole bridge thing has gone a bit far down the rabbit hole.

This is probably a good time to point out that this entire bridge project got started because I got the notion to walk across the Morrison Bridge, back before they added the nice walkway it has now, and I realized I'd never done that before, and I thought it would be interesting to do the other Willamette bridges too and take some photos in the process, and it's sort of taken on a life of its own since then. To be honest, a lot of the motivation behind this, as well as the public art and city park things (which have long since gone down rabbit holes of their own), is that I don't travel as much as I'd like to, and I have to go to somewhat absurd lengths to continue playing tourist without leaving town. I keep thinking I'm bound to run out of material for these projects sooner or later and I'll have to go find a different silly hobby. Hasn't happened yet, though.

No comments :