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Brian Libby

A comment passed on to Portland Architecture via email by Jim Lee:

Nice work, architects!

But there is another design that better satisfies constraints for
maritime clearance, airway traffic, highway gradients, stream
environment: a deck arch of three spans. Not so stylish as the
cable-stayed option, but equally aesthetic and structurally more
efficient.

This would be a “McCullough triplet,” a central arch of 1,200 foot
span, two side arches of 750 foot span, proportioned according to
the “golden mean,” all in structural steel. Conde McCullough
literally wrote the book on design of elastic arch bridges--take a
look in Multnomah County Library.

McCullough on bridges: “In Oregon our engineers have been trained to go to the stream, build a bridge for utility and economy, and at the same time design it to blend with the terrain.” Arches
blend with the terrain; cable-stays stick out like sore thumbs.
Different aesthetic principles, but there you have it.

Deck arches have gone out of fashion, but have lost none of their
technical and aesthetic attributes. Fortunately we have a modern
master of the form not far away: David Goodyear. Let us give him
the job.

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