The Beatles once sang on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, "I have to admit it's getting better/a little better, all the time/can't get no worse!" And now Jeff Jahn of the PORT blog (and many other local visual art curatorial and artistic endeavors), after attending the recent July 2 meeting of the Willamette River Bridge Advisory Committee, reports that a likable new design may be emerging from a process that once seemed like it could be doomed to deliver mediocrity.
The "V" tower, pictured below, is still an option (and there are multiple versions within that option), but it seemed to find less favor at the WRBAC meeting. There is also option "E" with its steel towers, but it brings extra cost and risk that TriMet is unlikely to favor. Option A, meanwhile, was given go ahead for additional design development.
"My take is that Rosales hybrid and wave frame were partly an appeal to Portlanders' sense of humility," Jahn told me by email. "Which is fine but this is a nation leading project and why not take credit for once? The A design, especially with the four observation areas, will tend to provide greater interaction with the water and less cables so it is cleaner visually than the hybrid. MacDonald also appears to be at the forefront of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations." Here is another shot of the "A" prototype: