Monthly Archives: July 2012

Portland Bridge Swim, Submarine, and Clouds

I walked down the East-Bank Esplanade this morning to enjoy the cloudy and cool July weather and to catch a glimpse of the Portland Bridge Swim.  The Bridge Swim is an annual event in which swimmers travel under 11 Portland bridges as they swim 11 miles up the river (the Willamette River flows North, by the way). The race begins at the Sellwood Bridge and ends at the St. Johns Bridge. The Willamette must be so much cleaner than it was when I was a little kid. In the 90s, I assumed anyone who swam in the river would develop mutant qualities or be eaten by some kind of Superfund river monster…

Here are some shots from this morning. I also made a map of the Portland Bridge Swim’s route:

USS BluebackUSS Blueback

Portland Bridge SwimUSS BluebackPortland Bridge SwimPortland Interstate 5OMSIPortland Aerial TramPortland Bridge Swim Map

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Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge

I visited Portland’s newest architectural addition this weekend!  The Gibbs Street Footbridge opened on Saturday and I was there to try it out.  The footbridge runs below the aerial tram and connects Corbett-Lair Hill district with the South Waterfront. Although it is far less dramatic than the tram, I believe it’s a much more significant addition.  This will finally connect the two neighborhoods which are so drastically divided by the I-5/Macadam/Hood Ave corridor.

The bridge is tastefully done. I’ve seen older renderings which showed much more elaborate designs, but I think the finished product looks better.  The structure consists of a steel box-girder, supported by two concrete pillars, terminating at an elevator tower. I’m a big fan of the use of chain-link for the safety mesh. I’m also happy to see the bicycle tracks built-into the concrete stairs.  It’s such a simple design solution but makes all the difference when you’re trying to carry a bike up or down seven flights of stairs.

Here are my photos, sketches, and diagrams:

Gibbs Street Bridge SketchGibbs Street Bridge EntranceGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgeGibbs Street BridgePortland StreetcarPortland StreetcarPortland Aerial Tram

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