Sunday, July 06, 2014

Fessenden Street Bridge

The third Portsmouth Cut bridge on our tour carries N. Fessenden St. over the ravine. It's about the same style as the others; same age, same designer, same disrepair. It's got the usual Bridgehunter, Structurae and pages, where we learn things like:

     Built 1909
     - Ralph Modjeski of Bochnia, Poland (Engineer)
     Warren deck truss
     Length of largest span: 89.9 ft.
     Total length: 164.1 ft.
     Deck width: 40.0 ft.
Inspection (as of 07/2012)
     Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
     Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
     Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
     Appraisal: Structurally deficient
     Sufficiency rating: 49.7 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
I don't know if anyone particularly cares about bridge trivia sites, but those are often the only sources of information when a bridge isn't particularly attractive or significant. That's certainly the case here. Fessenden is not a major arterial street, or at least it's not intended to be. As one of only four streets that cross the Cut, and only six connecting St. Johns to the outside world (the others being Marine Drive much further north, and the St. Johns Bridge), it's gotten a share of truck traffic heading for the Rivergate industrial district or the St. Johns Bridge. Complaints by residents prompted the city to encourage trucks to use Columbia Blvd. instead, or else. The Columbia Blvd. route is apparently two miles longer and burns an extra 15 minutes of driver time, so I suspect compliance will be a bit spotty when nobody's looking.

The Cut bridges have a less visible role carrying utilities; the Willamette Boulevard bridge has what looks like a water main on its underside, and this bridge carries a natural gas pipeline. I suppose that would be an argument for not letting these bridges completely fall to pieces.

apparently there's a natural gas pipeline here

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