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I think the purpose of putting it at this location, was to 'repair' the connection of the land to the river which was disrupted by the freeway.

You can now walk from the historical location of the early traders and Fort Vancouver to the river bank that they ported because of this bridge.

I think the hope is that in several years it will be so covered in vegetation it will be a land bridge - even though we'll always have the noise of traffic below it.

It's impressive for the way the water is managed - drained into cisterns which water the plants and provide water to a restored historical wet land.

Here's some pictures of the opening that also include the bird blind by Maya Lin at the Sandy and Columbia rivers: On Flickr.com

john w

I found the design to be very uninspiring and badly detailed. It seemed like it was a mish-mash of materials and forms. I'm not sure what Maya Lin had to do with it but I've seen much better local art.


Maya Lin did the conceptual work along with selecting the site as referential to the Lewis & Clark Expedition and the site's formerly natural connection to the waterfront and native American history.

The architecture was completed (with input from Lin) by U of O trained architect Native American Johnpaul Jones of Jones & Jones in Seattle, WA.

And the art was completed by Lilian Pitt who is of the indigenous people of the Columbia River Gorge.


A real disappointment. I crossed the bridge the other day. Extremely cluttered design, a smattering of half dead plants. Not another visitor in sight. It looks like the vitcum of design by committee. I can not help but lament the fact that the 1000's of motorists passing underneith will see this as "yet another example of government waste."

I also have to question the assumption that this is a re-connective link between Fort Vancouver and the waterfront, as it yields to the existing train ROW., requiring a circuitous path and passage through a dreary tunnel before emerging. Sloppy.


Unfortunately it "yields to train row" because railroad companies in this country are still all-powerful. In talking with one person involved, the railroad wouldn't even come to the table to discuss what could and couldn't be done - just sent a pile of documents of what they would accept in proximity to their property.

As for those speeding along the freeway in their gas-guzzlers underneath considering it "government waste" I'm not that worried what they think. Pedestrians deserve better than straightline concrete and chain link fences - and it was the private funding from the Confluence Project that brought much of this to fruition, and they have the right to spend their own money as they please.

As for the dreary railroad tunnel, good luck getting the powerful railroad companies to engage on making it any better. But isn't that an example of a good use of government money according to your standards?

Information on the bridge can be found on the Confluence Project web site. An artwork by Maya Lin will eventually be installed on the waterfront, further anchoring the connection between the water and the land.

Ice Man

I think the Land Bridge it's a wonderful project with very high expectations. Like most landscape projects, time will be on it's side with the growth and maturity of the plant material.

The "mish mash" art is representative of native cultures and I think it's great to see it incorporated into the project, since that's what this whole Confluence thing is about. I feel like Portland does not have a strong connection to traditional NW art like other greate Pacific Northwest cities.

I visited the Sandy Bird Blind, the other Maya Lin project near Troutdale, last week and was puzzled. It felt forced onto the landscape and out of place. I also don't understand why they are allowing the public to use it before it's done. It's almost like having an art gallery showing with paintings that are 90% complete. Are they planning on paving the parking lot? How about the trail? I saw a couple having a difficult time pushing their child in a wheel chair along the gravel path the 1 mile to the bird blind. Other than that, the concept was interesting and I think it will be cool once the landscape is restored. It might have been more interesting if the blind was in the middle of a clearing versus in the woods and had better views of the river.


I felt some of the same things you did about the bird blind, but from I understand the location was selected based on a soon to be removed levy which years ago changed where the Sandy emptied into the Columbia river.

When the levy is removed the bird blind will be at the confluence of the Sandy & Columbia rivers, overlooking the water to shorebirds and the naturalized habitat.

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