Saturday, December 1, 2007

December Theme: Bridges

A September, 2007, photo, shows you most of the Hawthorne Bridge. I took this one facing sort of northeast.

Sorry, y'all, that I'm this late with my bridge stuff. I realized way late last night that I was completely off my rocker, putting the "Random Thoughts, Shining Continents" on the blog for Dec.1, so I changed it to Nov. 30 instead. Then today family time took precedence over blog time. Until now. Here goes, the first of several bridge days, all in a row, just like the bridges across the Willamette River.

The Hawthorne Bridge

The Hawthorne Bridge crosses the Willamette in just the right place for me, in relation to where I live and work and where the bus runs. It's also the only bridge I have walked across. I always take pictures when I'm walking across the bridge, always, even that first time, when it snowed on Jan. 16, 2007. I love this bridge, its two colors, the height of the railings beside the sidewalks, the way the lanes of traffic flow in both directions across it, separated by parts of its structure.

Wikipedia: The Hawthorne Bridge is a truss bridge with a vertical lift that spans the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, joining Hawthorne Boulevard and Madison Street. It is the oldest vertical lift bridge in operation in the United States and the oldest highway bridge in Portland. It is also the busiest bicycle and transit bridge in Oregon, with over 4,800 cyclists and 750 TriMet buses daily. ... The 880,000 pound (400,000 kg) counterweights are suspended from the two 165 ft. (50 m) tall towers. While the river is at low level the bridge is 49 feet (15 meters) above the water, causing it to be raised an average of 200 times per month.

A February, 2007, photo, shows you the towers with their suspended counterweights. I've yet to be on the bridge when a lift happened, but from a window at work I sometimes notice all lanes of traffic backed up on the approach, waiting--I assume--for the lift to be done. To keep the bearings greased, the bridge is raised every 8 hours. You'd think that since I've crossed it two times a day, Monday-Friday, since mid-October, 2006, I would've chanced upon a lift. With the approach right there at my building, maybe on nice days I ought to go for a walk across it at lunch and/or after work--maybe I'll get to see a lift that way.

Here's an April, 2007, photo. The sidewalks on both sides of the bridge are 10 feet wide, with room for pedestrians and bicycles, going east and west, passing each other easily. This is the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge, and I'm heading west.

Here's another February, 2007, photo. I'm standing in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, amazed at grass this green in February, at how blessed we were with that stupendous blue sky--friends were down from Seattle for a visit and it couldn't have been a more beautiful day.

Here's a view of another of Portland's bridges, taken from the Hawthorne Bridge in April, 2007. The double decks belong to the Marquam Bridge which carries Interstate 5 through Portland, north and south. On the Hawthorne Bridge's deck, you can see where the lanes join--the right one is heading west across the river and is where my first bus makes the curve to head over the river after work. In the mornings my bus is in the lane of the left, heading up the slight rise that you can tell is just beginning.

Tomorrow I plan to post my snow photos of the Hawthorne Bridge for you. Then on Monday and/or Tuesday I'll show you several other bridges which I've been able to photograph.

Now for an original poem, in honor of Portland's bridges:

Stitches of Steel

By Lynette Hanson

Rendered asunder
By the passage of time
And the flow of water

The land of the Willamette
Welcomed all who came
To where Portland would be

Rendered together
By the endeavor of men
With their stitches of steel

The bridges of the Willamette
Welcome all who come
To where Portland is

Until tomorrow, here's a list from Wikipedia for you:

Bridges over the Willamette River, listed north to south:
St. Johns Bridge (1931) - U.S. Highway 30/N Philadelphia Avenue
Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge 5.1 (1908)
Fremont Bridge (1973) - Interstate 405
Broadway (1913) - Broadway
Steel Bridge (1912) - Pacific Highway West/former Oregon Route 99W
Burnside Bridge (1926) - Burnside Street
Morrison Bridge (1958) - Morrison Street
Hawthorne Bridge (1910) - Hawthorne Boulevard
Marquam Bridge (1966) - Interstate 5
Ross Island Bridge (1922) - U.S. Highway 26/Powell Boulevard
Sellwood Bridge (1925) - SE Tacoma Street

Please take a look at all of these interesting bridges around the world by visiting these city photo blogs:

Boston (MA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Inverness (IL), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Stockholm, Sweden - Setúbal, Portugal - Brussels, Belgium - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Hyde, UK - Manila, Philippines - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - London, England - Austin (TX), USA - Toulouse, France - Weston (FL), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Selma (AL), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - North Bay (ON), Canada - Arradon, France - Paderborn, Germany - Durban, South Africa - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Portland (OR), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Wichita (Ks), USA - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Grenoble, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Arlington (VA), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Cheltenham, UK - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Saratoga Spgs. (NY), USA - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Nashville (TN), USA - Toruń, Poland - New Orleans (LA), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Melbourne, Australia - Moscow, Russia - Trujillo, Peru - Château-Gontier, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Joplin (MO), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Baziège, France - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Detroit (MI), USA - Riga, Latvia - Nelson, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary - Cape Town, South Africa - Sydney, Australia - Dunedin (FL), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Radonvilliers, France - Turin, Italy - Montpellier, France - Kansas City (MO), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Wailea (HI), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Terrell (TX), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Budapest, Hungary - Montréal (QC), Canada - Sharon (CT), USA - Le Guilvinec, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - London, UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Orlando (FL), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Paris, France - Mainz, Germany - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Darmstadt, Germany - Naples (FL), USA - Torino, Italy - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - The Hague, Netherlands - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Melbourne (VIC), Australia - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand


Susan said...

Thanks for posting, and it's still dec 1st. You arent late!

Fénix (Bostonscapes DP) said...

Still Saturday on the West Coast, so you're OK :). Too bad some people will miss your wonderful post (hopefully not many). Looking forwards to seeing more handsome Portland bridges. Have a nice Sunday!

Hyde DP said...

well it is like waiting for a bus - nothingcomes and then they all come together - just joking - at least 10 who registered to run the theme haven't posted yet [9am GMT 2nd here] and a couple posted off-topic.
This is a fascinating post - I'll be permalinking to it shortly.

dot said...

Lynette, you are a lady of many talents. Photography and now poetry! I like the picture of the Marquam bridge best.

Andrea said...

Beautiful poem and beautiful pictures.

Gwen said...

How nice that the Hawthorne has such a wide path for pedestrians and cyclists. A bonus poem, too.:)

Dusty Lens said...

Oooh, I like this! I really like these lift bridges.

writing_here said...

The Steel Bridge, by the way, is reportedly the only bridge of it's kind in the world - an independent lift double decker bridge (the bottom span can lift without disturbing the top span) and it is also owned by the railroad (Union Pacific I think) and not by the government. It is also the most versatile bridge in PDX. It is used MAX (light rail), Amtrak, freight trains, the Vintage Trolley, pedestrians, bicycles, automobiles, and buses. In fact an Amtrak train could pass a freight train on the lower level while a Vintage Trolley car passes a MAX train on the upper deck while automobiles use the out lanes of the upper deck and pedestrians and cyclists use either the upper deck sidewalks or the lower deck pathway crossing between Waterfront Park and the Eastbank Esplanade, all at the exact same time.