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Posts Tagged ‘Oregon City Arch Bridge’

Today was one of those days to inspire. I had only one thing I wanted to do today: take a photograph of the Oregon City Arch Bridge before they blast the gunite off if it. My husband had only one thing he wanted to do today: go to the Portland Art Museum to see the Thomas Moran painting on display there.

Nature has only one thing She wanted to do today: dump a Pineapple Express on us. It’s supposed to rain all weekend. Warm rain, pushing snow levels up to 8,000′ which in turn pushes river levels up. I’ll be keeping an eye on the rivers for a photo opportunity, but we’re not expecting any floods like 1996 – just a lot of high water.

We decided to combine Don’s want list & my want list this morning. We drove up to Portland in light rain and actually snagged a parking place right in front of the Portland Art Museum, just 15 minutes before they opened their doors. That’s unheard of: getting a parking spot where you don’t have to walk blocks! Woot.

The Thomas Moran painting that is on display (sadly, it is leaving on Monday) is one that was not on display when Seattle Art Museum hosted a large display of Moran’s landscapes a few years back: Shoshone Falls. We’re huge fans of Moran’s landscapes, so this really was a big deal. And since we were at the art museum, we toured the rest of their exhibits. I left feeling very inspired to pick up my oils again and paint.

By the time we were back in Oregon City, the rain was beginning to fall in earnest. We were still early enough that we could find a great parking spot in downtown (again – unheard of). The Arch Bridge is already roped off while workers attach scaffolding and prepare it for the coming two years’ worth of work.

The gunite (concrete) needs to be removed so they can check the steel undergirding of the bridge (besides, the gunite is beginning to fall apart). I am sad to see this happening because I use this bridge daily: it’s a short cut across the Willamette River (which is a lovely chocolate brown today) that gives me about a 3-mile or 5 minute headstart on traffic stuck on the I-205 Abernethy Bridge. But I can see why it is necessary. And I hope it will not take 2 years as predicted! Two years is a long time to have to deal with the traffic mess on the Abernethy Bridge!

Since we were already along the riverfront, we decided to walk the length of the new pathway. Over the last 2 years, ODOT and Oregon City have been improving the pedestrian access along Highway 99E and this is the first time that either Don or I have ventured out along it as peds.

The old section features concrete posts and long rails, but a nice view of the historic bridge.

The new section boasts some artful rails as well, and a barrier between pedestrian and traffic – which the older section does not have.

I’m not really certain why you would want a view of the long sewer line? I assume that’s a sewer line running along the river there? Love the manhole cover.

The walk ends with a wide viewing area looking out over the Willamette River. Looking south(upriver) toward the Arch Bridge, we captured the Sternwheeler Rose at dock. Some day I’d like to ride on the sternwheeler, maybe up the river (that’s the direction we’re looking) and through the locks around the Willamette Falls.

And north (downriver) at the ugly Abernethy Bridge which is about to become the bane of my commute.

Trivia: see those docks there? When Arwen was an infant I had two girlfriends whose babies were the same age. We used to walk our strollers out onto those docks, just to go for a walk somewhere with our babies. That was 25 years ago…

We crossed the highway at that point using the handy little walk signal at the stop light. And since we were on that end of town, we decided to check out three little artsy-antique stores along 14th Street. I know where I will be shopping next Christmas! I may even put together some artwork & look into doing a consignment in one of them.

I have so many little artsy notes to write into my notebooks after the trip to the museum and the walk through the little shops. Somehow the day ended up being more about inspiration than the closure of the little bridge. And that’s OK.

Because I’d rather not dwell on how bad traffic is going to be on Monday morning when everyone has to take that nasty Abernethy Bridge across the Willamette River. Nasty AND ugly.

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