St. John’s Bridge

Scenes from bike adventures in urban Portland

Portland, Oregon has a lot of urban rides. Many will take you by jammed freeways, grain elevators, a working port, a refinery, and over and under bridges. I took these photos over the last three months. There is not a grand unifying theme other than the impression of what one sees when you get out of your car and on two wheels.

(Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

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St. John’s Bridge, Icon of the Northwest

(Click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

St. John’s Bridge in Portland is one of the most recognized icons in the region. It was built using local dollars at the height of the Depression, taking two years to build. The steel suspension bridge connects the Northwest and Northeast quadrants of the city. Its towering Gothic inspired towers create a feeling of awe. When it opened, apparently elephants walked across it (if one is to believe the information posted in the park below).

It is showing real signs of decay too, with its concrete foundations crumbling in plain view. Cathedral Park at its base on the northeast side of the Willamette River is an ever popular destination for residents. Everyone always seems to marvel at the design.

The base of the bridge was once home to the region’s Native Americans, who lived on the river banks, harvesting the river’s bounty. Most of the region’s Native residents perished during the 1800s due to the apocalyptic impact of communicable disease and malaria introduced with the arrival of European and American travellers and settlers.

St. John’s Bridge, Portland

The St. John’s Bridge, in North Portland, is bike friendly and outstanding for views of Portland and the Willamette River. There are a lot of fabulous rides that can include a trip over the bridge. The views are always worth it.