South of the Hawthorne Bridge and past the Riverplace Marina, you see the double-decker Marquam Bridge and the Ross Island Bridge. I took this photo on a beautiful September day, right after work.
The Ross Island Bridge is the first bridge that I drove over that crosses the Willamette River. It was at some point in July, 2006. Mama and I had decided we wanted to go to the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde, Oregon, to play the penny slot machines. Since the bridge has such a short-seeming railing, I was thrilled that two lanes go each way because I could get in the middle and not be able to see much of the river or be able to tell how high up we were in the car.
We made our way off the bridge and onto I-5 South, then to state highways and finally to the casino where we had a good time for a couple of hours.
As we neared the Ross Island on the way back, intending to take it to our then apartment in Southeast Portland, it became obvious that going back would not follow exactly the same path as going forth. What I mean is that I couldn't find the way to get onto the west end of the bridge. I could, however, find my way onto Naito Parkway and then onto the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge which we crossed with ease, mainly due to the fact that the 10-foot-wide sidewalk between the lane I drove in and the railing really helped me cope with my fears. I believe it took at least four trips back from the casino before I finally figured out the convoluted method of gaining access to the west end of the Ross Island Bridge from northbound I-5. I can't even describe it to you accurately, nor can I take photos of it because I'm always the one driving. Just believe me when I tell you that convoluted describes it to a T.
Here's another shot of the Marquam Bridge, taken from the Peter Kohler Pavilion at Oregon Health & Science University, up on Marquam Hill. I've driven south on the Marquam Bridge twice, I'm proud to say. Neither time did I allow myself to do anything but stay in the center lane, concentrating on breathing and driving. I have yet to go north on it, and to tell you the truth, I'm hoping that I don't have to--from where I stand, the railings just don't look high enough to make me feel safe. I mean, even the Fremont Bridge's top deck has that soaring arch up above it which gives me the allusion of being enclosed. I know that's irrational, but it's the way I feel. But I do love looking at these curves from afar.
In this photo of the two bridges, you're looking westward. Those high rise buildings are in an area known as the South Waterfront. I don't know for sure, but I suspect that one of them is the building that Mama and I went to on Monday, Dec. 3. She had an eye doctor appointment.
I took this photo from the 11th floor of the Oregon Health & Science University's Center for Health & Healing--I do know the name of the building even if I don't know if it's in my other photo. It never dawned on me what a view there would be from the windows until we walked off the elevator and turned left. Can you imagine how I would have felt if I didn't have my camera and Flat Stanley?
The bridge closest to the little guy, sort of going through the tires on the Vespa, is the Ross Island Bridge. The one you can barely see in the distance, behind his left shoulder on the right side of the photo, is the Marquam Bridge. And that's the skyline of downtown in the background. The rain is part of the 3.55 inches that Portland got in three days which was a drop in the bucket compared to other areas of Oregon and Washington. Please say a prayer for all those whose lives have been drastically changed by the weather.
Wikipedia: The Marquam Bridge is a double deck cantilever bridge that carries Interstate 5 traffic across the Willamette River south of downtown Portland, Oregon. It is the busiest bridge in Oregon, carrying 135,600 vehicles a day as of 2004. The upper deck carries northbound traffic; the lower deck carries southbound traffic. ... Total length-1043 feet. Width-57 feet. Clearance below-130 feet. ... As it has great importance, the Marquam was the first Portland bridge to undergo a seismic retrofit in 1995.
Wikipedia: The Ross Island Bridge is a cantilever truss bridge that spans the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. It carries U.S. Route 26 (Mount Hood Highway) across the river between southwest and southeast Portland. Although it looks like a deck arch bridge, it is the only cantilever deck truss bridge in Oregon. ... The bridge is named for its location close to Ross Island, an island in the Willamette River which measures about one-and-a-half by one miles. The bridge is about 800 feet (250 m) north of the island and does not connect with, nor does it provide access to Ross Island. ... There is a pedestrian walkway on the north side of the bridge, with no barrier between the sidewalk and the westbound right lane.