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Fremont Bridge, Portland, USA

June 10th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

The Fremont Bridge is a steel tied arch bridge over the Willamette River located in Portland, Oregon. It carries Interstate 405 and U.S. Highway 30 traffic between downtown and North Portland where it intersects with Interstate 5. It has the longest main span of any bridge in Oregon and is the second longest tied arch bridge in the world (after Caiyuanba Bridge across the Yangtze River, China).

Due to the public's dissatisfaction with the appearance of the Marquam Bridge, the Portland Art Commission was invited to participate in the design process of the Fremont. The improvement in visual quality resulted in a bridge that was nearly six times as expensive as the purposely-economical Marquam Bridge.

In October of 1971, while still under construction, a crack was found on the west span girder that required a $5.5 million redesign and repair. The main span of the bridge was built in California then assembled at Swan Island, 1.7 miles downstream. After completion it was floated in place on a barge. On March 16, 1973 the 6,000 ton steel arch span was lifted 170 ft. using 32 hydraulic jacks. At the time, it was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the heaviest lift ever completed. The bridge was open on November 11, 1973 at a final cost of $82 million, most of which was financed by the Federal Highway Administration.

The bridge was named for John Charles Fremont, though one of the connecting streets was previously named Fremont Street in honor of the same individual. Designers modeled the bridge after the Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia. The bridge has two decks carrying vehicular traffic, each with four lanes. Westbound (as signed on US-30, also southbound on I-405) traffic is on the upper deck, eastbound (northbound) traffic on the lower deck.

The Fremont Bridge was also the 26th Peregrine falcon nest site designated in Oregon after the raptor was placed on the U.S. Threatened and Endangered Species list in 1970.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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