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While I respect Rosales' unique attempt to come up with a design that relates to the other local bridges, sometimes a clean break indicates fresh thinking and a move away from a provincial mind-set, or "design-set" in this instance. I'm not saying completely ignore the other bridges, just not be hampered by them.

In addition to the "look" of the bridge, I hope the WRBAC team takes the users' experience into account as well. Ask anyone who has worked in the Portland Building what happens when the human element is left out of the design equation.


WTF? This is such a broken complex sentence... I have no idea what the author wants to say....
"In the last few days as TriMet's decision to select Donald MacDonald as the bridge's designer, it has seemed that the bridge an overwhelming majority in the design community and public at large wanted, Miguel Rosales's "Hybrid" concept, was being discarded. That probably will still hold to be true, but it's not necessarily a done deal yet."

Doesn't anyone ever read their posts aloud before posting? Guess not.

Brian Libby


Thank you for the correction, but I'll pass on the attitude. You're right: I was in error typing that sentence. But I'd hope intelligent readers like yourself would see the wood for the trees.

Incidentally, I loved your work in Marvel Comics.


Both cable-stay and hybrid bridges can be beautiful if well designed. The fact is, no bridge has been designed yet and all we have are bridge types. Let's let the process work and reserve final judgement until we have working designs and accurate cost estimates to choose from (yes, cost is a critical consideration albeit one of many considerations). I, for one, am looking forward to a fresh perspective from McDonald.

Brian Libby

Fair enough, Brian2. I hope you're right!

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I love the bridge design but in this day and age want my elected leaders to make decisions that also factor in costs and economics. Finding politicians that are conservative with taxpayers' money is a hard thing these days.


It seems like the Rosales design is artificially "wavy".. Why not just move forward with a traditional cable-stay that does the job just as well and at less cost? What is aesthetics? Does form follow function or vice versa?


It's too bad that we can't have the bridge alignment lined up such that Mt. Hood would be directly in the "sights" that the V-shape provides. It would be a nice straight-ahead view for those heading east, and add some site specificity.


What sort of “public-influenced process” has there been? Is there a web site or article that describes this public process, because I missed it?

I have been involved with the Sellwood Bridge Project, which has been an engaging and enjoyable public-influenced process. If you want to check-up on the process, it is clearly explained here:


In Randy Gragg’s (12/08) interview with Miguel Rosales, Rosales seems to anticipate being involved through the entire process.
“I am supposed to stay through the process. I will do some guidelines for what they can change or not. But I don’t know if I will prevail. There is enormous pressure to cut costs. Unless the city is very involved, I don’t know what the oversight is in your city. Unless someone really understands the technical side, they can’t really help.”

Nate G.

It seems to me that in the midst of all the sturm und drang over whether Tri-Met did or did not do Rosales wrong, we're missing the real story completely.

I would suggest the real story is this:

Somehow, at some point over the past couple months, with no fanfare that I'm aware of, what had once been an extremely ugly, off-the-shelf, inappropriate-to-its-context generic cable stay bridge transformed itself into a rather lovely, unique (as far as I know) V-towered variation on the cable stay that looks, at least in the one rendering released, as good or better than Rosales' hybrid design in the real-life context of the Caruthers Crossing.

So the story I would love to see someone, anyone report on is this: What happened here? Where did this V-towered bridge (for lack of a better term; what is this thing actually called?) come from? Is the old ugly cable stay really now off the table completely? Are our only two options now the nice new V-towered variation on a cable stay and Rosales' equally nice suspension/cable stay hybrid? Is the situation now then a win-win, whichever choice is made? Are there other renderings of this new cable stay floating around anywhere? Does it only look good from the one angle they've released, or is it as nice from all angles as that one rendering suggests?

Brian Libby

That's a great point, Nate. I've thrown around the "cookie cutter" term, but it's true that the V-towered bridge is an improvement on the other cable-stay. However, the V tower is very common throughout the world, and I think the Rosales Hybrid is still nicer. But you are indeed correct that this is no longer just about cable stay and hybrid, but three options.


I too would like to know how this new approach was selected, but I know it would be easier to garner support for the proposal if the public had been more engaged in weighing the pros and cons of the competing proposals.

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