Monthly Archives: October 2007

Oregon gas prices rises over the $3.00 level

It finally happened!
Today we bought gas at our friendly little service station,
and the cost was over 3.00 per gallon.
Our economical, sensible Suburu now requires over 40.00 dollars to fill its little tank.
I have heard talk of it, but never actually experienced it.
It was quite a thrilling moment for us.
The cost is now 10 times what it was when I first learned to drive.

I am sure glad I have also learned to ride a bike.

Leaves are now on the ground

Leaves are falling all around. The weather is clear and dry…..for now.

I can still take a walk outside the office without a coat. Fall seems to make the air seem cleaner, the colors just a little brighter.
Even the parking strips have color and some visual interest to help keep the spririts high during the time I spend in our windowless office.

I can then come home and look at the leaves that have fallen there, knowing that I will be spending the weekend raking them up.

Walking Crystal Springs Garden in the fall.

We went for a walk in the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.

There are only a few blooms at this time of year but there is still plenty of color all over.

9 acres, with lots of quiet paths, and small lakes fed by 13 springs.

Ducks, geese, & portrait photographers all seem to like it here as well.

Bonus: Now, it’s the off-season. The gardens are free, and less crowded than other parts of the year.

Sharon Wood Wortman speaks at PSU

Sharon Wood Wortman, author of The Portland Bridge Book spoke at Portland State University

You can see her talk at: Center for Transportation Studies Seminars

She gives an interesting talk with some fun stories.
And of course, the usual facts and reviews.

  • 600,000 bridges in US. 5,700 bridges in Oregon
  • Lift types: Vertical – Bascule – Swing Span
  • Bridge types: Suspension – Arch – Beam – Truss – Canteliver
  • Only 160 truss bridges left in Oregon
    (in my opionion, the most interesting ones in Oregon)
  • Only suspension bridge in Willamette Valley is the St. Johns.

She says there is a Bridge Museum at ODOT?
We will have to check that out.

You can see her site at Bridge Stories.

Christiania Bikes

A friend sent me this picture of a nice cargo bike.
You can see more of these bikes at

These are a very popular and useful style of bike in Europe. While biking in Denmark, we saw a lot of these bikes on the streets. Many times the bikes would be full of items that we Americans would never consider carrying on a bike.

Some of these cargo bikes are beginning to appear on our local streets.

That seems like a good thing.

A Dutch version of these bikes are sold in Portland, at Clever Cycles.

Church gets a Partial New Roof

Early, on a quiet, foggy October Saturday morning, all the tools and supplies lie in wait for the work crew.

It is just starting to get light and we are ready to get to work.



The old shingles have all been ripped off and disposed in the trash bin to be recycled.

Old, soft underlayments have been replaced with newer and stronger sheets, and preparations begin for laying the new shingles.

Most of the new roofing material gets nailed into place before lunch break.

We had a lot of help, and everyone is committed to doing their share and getting the work completed quickly and correctly.


Final touches are completed to ensure the the roof is clean and tightly sealed.
Continue reading

Burnside Bridge still not ready for car traffic.

In an earlier post, I talked about the Burnside Bridge, and at that time, the bridge was set to open soon after an unexpected delay. Nowburnsiderepair1.jpg it looks like the opening has been postponed again. Last week they were struggling with issues surrounded around that 3.8 million pound counterweight. They had some big holes openedburnsiderepair2×1.jpg up in the deck earlier in the week. Now, they expect to have one lane open in each direction on October 21. The 81 year old bridge is in the middle of a 2 year rehabilitation project, and this stage is the most technically challenging.

10-02-07 New Sellwood Bridge Alternatives Selected

Last week the Sellwood Project Advisory Group met to select the final group of alternatives for further study and review.

Sellwood Bridge Alternatives under Study, in a .pdf file

1.) The 57 foot wide rehabilitation project does nothing for improving automobile/transit traffic, but seems to help bike/pedestrians. Thanks, but, no thanks.

2.) The two decked system is intriguing, while providing a little cover for walkers, the design would create a dreary, dirty and dangerous section, that would loose its appeal to many, and, the “possibility for striping 3 lanes” means while its possible to have 3 lanes, it will be tight, and will not adequately handle the future growth pressure that this new bridge will experience.

3.) The 64 foot wide bridge provides great bike/pedestrian access with its 6.5 foot bike lanes and 12 foot shared use lanes, it is still only providing 2 lanes of traffic. My money is on this selection if only because it isn’t the most expensive one, but it is the most expensive one we can afford. And for some reason so many people are under the mistaken impression that if we limit the bridge to 2 lanes, less people will want to cross it than if there are 3-4 lanes. The demand will be there, and the need to cross the river will not change dependent on the number of lanes. We must consider accommodating growth, not diverting it.

4.) In this case, bigger is better. Two auto lanes, two transit lanes, a 16 foot shared use, and 8 foot pedestrian walkway. This one seems to have it all.

We will have the opportunity to create this just once in our lifetime. Let’s hope we make the choice that will last our lifetime.

Burnside Bridge to reopen late next week

The Burnside Bridge is expected to reopen to motor vehicles late next week. The bridge will not be ready to reopen on Monday, October 8 as originally planned. The target date for reopening is four or five days after October 8.
Replacing the counterweight hinge assembly is the most technically challenging repair in the two-year project. The repairs have taken longer than expected because the old parts were more difficult to remove than anticipated. Despite using different methods, the contractor was unable to remove parts of the hinge by pushing or pulling. Instead, the 13-inch diameter steel pins had to be slowly drilled out. After that initial delay, the 3.8 million pound counterweight was successfully lowered with a jacking system so that other parts could be removed and replaced.
Several night-time bridge closures will be needed to remove the jacking system after the bridge reopens to traffic. The current schedule calls for the bridge to be closed at night on October 12 and 13, but those dates are subject to change. The bridge is closed to motor vehicles. Pedestrians and bicyclists are able to cross the bridge during most of the repair, but occasionally the bridge will be closed to ALL traffic for delicate operations and safety issues; and river traffic is not affected.

So, Sunday you can bike on both the Sellwood and the Burnside, without cars!

Sellwood Bridge Closed for Inspection Sun. Oct. 7

The Sellwood Bridge will be closed to all motor vehicles on Sunday, October 7 from 7:00 am until as late as 7:00 pm during a structural inspection. Both traffic lanes need to be closed in order to station equipment used in the inspection.
Like all publicly owned bridges, the Sellwood Bridge gets a federally mandated structural inspection every two years. The biennial inspection began last month but could not be completed during a one-day bridge closure. Multnomah County also inspects sections of the bridge where problems have been identified every three months.
On Sunday the bridge sidewalk will remain open for bicyclists and pedestrians, although there may be short, intermittent delays for sidewalk users. For motor vehicles, the nearest alternate river crossing to the north is the Ross Island Bridge. Access to the Ross Island Bridge is available via US 43/SW Macadam Ave. on the west side and via SE Milwaukie Ave. and SE Powell Blvd. on the east side. The nearest bridges to the south are the Abernethy Bridge (I-205) and the Oregon City Bridge.

For other recent
Bridge News from Multnomah County’s Newsroom

For other Portland traffic updates
Traffic look ahead for next week from PortlandOnline.