Monday, December 17, 2007

Fremont Bridge

Fremont Bridge over the Willamette River, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

I drove Scott to the waterfront on a spur of the moment photo expedition during the last moments of Saturday's day light. It was a little eerie. A cold windy gray day under a noisy, massive structure, on a vacant stretch of waterfront walkway, next to an abandoned corporate "park".

I was surprised Scott wanted to photograph this bridge instead of his favorite bridge, the St. Johns. However, I think the day's not quite stormy, not quite sunny atmosphere matched my feelings of the Fremont.

According to Portland lore, the massive Fremont was built at a time when city leaders had planned to have multiple freeways crisscrossing the metro area. Its bold white arch and stylish design make it appear to be an optimistic prediction of freeway life -- at least from the distance most people downtown see the bridge. However, at a closer look, drivers can see the fading, cracking paint; ramps to forgotten, never-built freeways; and odd nut-and-bolt joints which seem unlikely on any modern structure. It's unimaginable today's Portlander's would support the construction of any huge, expensive bridge without bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, and transit lines.

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