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Can we please call it the Cesar Chavez Bridge and stop this ridiculous street renaming process?


I respect the opinions to build a unique and attractive bridge (don't get me wrong I certain want that too) but lets not forget that the whole point of building this bridge in the first place is to get MAX trains across the Willamette River. This bridge is not being built "to push the boundaries" of bridge construction as many who have clearly spent too much time in architecture crits think. TriMet's sole goal is to run an efficient transit system, everything else is just fluff.

I dont blame TriMet for wanting to go "safe" on the design of the bridge. Already designing a bridge for non-auto use is seen as radical by a certain part of the population (esp. the Lars crowd), particularly those who think anything they can't drive their car on is waste. "Safe" would also be a basic viaduct bridge, so I think we are also lucky they're willing to go for something much better than that.

I'd rather not TriMet lose all its political capital building a single risky bridge that has a good chance of being riddled with structural problems and cost overruns. And don't tell me you can build the first of its kind large scale bridge and not expect problems or cost overruns. A showy yet costly problematic bridge won't exactly go over well with taxpayers, or riders facing service cutbacks and will be seen as a symbol of misplaced priorities.


I think the hybrid is a very handsome bridge...not the most exciting bridge ever, but it seems like a good fit...i think alot of people (myself included) have a very positive visceral response to suspension-type bridges. Honestly, i would have been ok with the cable-stay...even if not unique in the world, would still have been unique for pdx. lastly, i was never a fan of the wave-form, it may be a first-ever of it's type...but that doesn't make it inherently superior...i thought it was a bit uninspiring.

Brian Libby

I completely respect the point of view of those who favor the look of the hybrid or even a cable-stay to the wave.

But my larger point was that the wave may not have had an even playing field to be considered fairly if its costs were being over-stated. I'm not trying to vilify anyone, because I can understand an institution like Trimet's need to be cautious given their inexperience with a major bridge project and not wanting to have under-estimated the cost like happened with the aerial tram.

My other point was that, regardless of what you and I think, the committee seemed to be excited about the wave. So if they'd had the sense that the wave could be built for roughly the same cost, what might have they have recommended?


I agree...that is a good point...they shouldn't have made a decision without really looking at the data...it seems there was a lot of false info thrown about


welcome to the "real" world as a designer - it is called price gouging.

John Russell

This is definitely an improvement over the cable-stayed design. While I would love to have the wave bridge design, I can't find any other reason to not like this one. Absent the wave design, this would easily be my first choice.


"A cable-stayed bridge would require much taller towers rising to over 250 feet, which would be out of scale with the site. (It's equivalent to the height of the tallest South Waterfront condo.)"

The tallest condo tower in the South Waterfront is actually 325'. John Ross, Ardea, and the under construction Mirabella will all rise to 325'. And IMHO, the towers in the South Waterfront should rise taller, but with a smaller floor plate.

I just don't understand "out of scale with the site". The Marquam Bridge is of pretty hefty scale. There was a proposal for the Portland Storage towers to rise quite high (much taller than 250') on the east side.

We are building a bridge that will probably be around for hundreds of years. I can't imagine how the built form of the city will change, again and again, during that time. I do know we should build the best and most attractive bridge, regardless of height or very objective 'scale' within the budget.

Frankly, I hate the new poles holding up the cable. I didn't much like the original cable stayed bridge's paper clip pole, but I'd take that over these four non-aspirational sticks.

Matthew Stadler

I also prefer the wave bridge. Philipp Wenger's claims seem to warrant reopening the discussion of that option. Those are very significant claims, the sort that could reverse a verdict if this were a court trial. Would someone with a deeper knowledge of the client and the decision-making process please tell us if there are any productive ways to reopen discussion of the wave design, at this point? If Wenger is right, there is every reason to bring it back onto the table.

Double J

I'm with Matt, I still prefer the wave... though the hybrid is handsome it seems like some kind of hedge against the "off the shelf" cable stays.

Why has Trimet structured this so the only cable stay options are off the shelf "generic" designs that the architect isn't invested in? Good cable stay bridges are elegant, daring and airy... good for a pedestrian/bycicle/mass transit bridge... yet we havnt seen anything but the most generic designs. This is a major symbol for prorland and likely Trimet's most public symbol. If a cable stay does get picked Portland should demand whatever architect is involved propose an improved design from the off the shelf varieties.

I don't buy the scale arguments at all... the massive/ugly Marquam and the towers downtown and SoWa are large scale and they sit well with anything proposed in the cable stay designs.

Still, the Wave gets my vote because of the way it echoes the west hills and other bridges (it sets up a civic/natural environment rhythm)... yet that design is still merely OK.

Major lesson learned here to be applied for the I-5 crossing... simply limiting the discussion to engineering and cost leaves everyone with underwhelming to ok design. We seem to be demanding better and it's a critique of the process.


This serves like a good design for modeling the bridges of tomorrow... far beyond the bridge to nowhere scenario.

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