Where we live: The St. Johns Bridge

Where we live: The St. Johns Bridge


THE LAST DRAFT WAS MORE THAN 40 YEARS AGO, BUT AMERICAN MEN ARE STILL REQUIRED TO REGISTER WHEN THEY TURN 18. THE RULING DID NOT SPECIFY ANY ACTION FOR THE GOVERNMENT. THE PENTAGON DECLINED TO COMMENT. WE KNOW PORTLAND IS THE ROSE CITY. BUT IT IS ALSO THE CITY OF BRIDGES. 10 BRIDGES CARRY VEHICLES ACROSS THE WILLAMETTE RIVER. JENNIFER H.: THE ST. JOHNS BRIDGE MAY BE THE MOST IMPRESSIVE OF ALL. KEN BODDIE TAKES US THERE, IN THIS WEEK’S “WHERE WE LIVE.” KEN: FRAMED BY THE VASTNESS OF FOREST PARK ON ONE END, AND THE SAINT JOHNS NEIGHBORHOOD ON THE BRIDGE IN WILLAMETTE, ON THE ONE OF THREE SUSPENSION BRIDGES IN THE STATE. KEN: BUILT IN 1931 FOR MULTNOMAH COUNTY AT A COST OF $4.5 MILLION , THE ST. JOHN’S WAS THE LONGEST SUSPENSION BRIDGE WEST OF DETROIT AT THE TIME. IT WAS THE CREATION OF INTERNATIONALLY-KNOWN BRIDGE ENGINEER DAVID B. STEINMAN. HE WAS ONCE ASKED, WHICH OF KEN: SOME WANTED THE BRIDGE PAINTED BRIGHT YELLOW AND BLACK, SO PILOTS COULD SEE IT. INSTEAD, STEINMAN WAS AMONG THE FIRST TO INSTALL AVIATION BEACONS ON BRIDGE TOWERS. HE PAINTED THE BRIDGE VERDANT GREEN. IT DRAWS THE ATTENTION TO ITSELF AND IT FITS WELL WITH THE LANDSCAPE. KEN: MULTNOMAH COUNTY GAVE UP CONTROL OF THE BRIDGE, ALSO THE HIGHWAY 30 BYPASS, TO THE STATE IN 1976. ODOT GAVE IT A MUCH-NEEDED $40 MILLION MAKEOVER AND SEISMIC UPGRADE IN 2005, A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION. THE ST. JOHNS BRIDGE MADE NATIONAL NEWS IN 2015, WHEN GREENPEACE PROTESTORS RAPPELLED FROM THE BRIDGE TO BLOCK THE ICEBREAKER FENNICA FROM LEAVING SWAN ISLAND AFTER REPAIRS. THE PROTEST LASTED 40 HOURS. THE FENNICA EVENTUALLY MADE IT TO ALASKA AS PART OF SHELL OIL COMPANY’S DRILLING OPERATIONS. TODAY, HISTORIAN ROBERT HADLOW CALLS THE SAINT JOHNS BRIDGE POETRY IN STEEL, THE ARCHES BENEATH GIVING CATHEDRAL PARK ITS APPROPRIATE NAME. PORTLAND HAS OTHER IMPRESSIVE BRIDGES. BUT MANY WOULD ARGUE NONE AS STRIKING AS THE ST. JOHNS. KEN BODDIE, KOIN 6 NEWS.

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