Monday, November 9, 2009

Hawthorne Bridge Ghost Ramp

Today, this old off ramp from the Hawthorne bridge is used for bicycle and pedestrian traffic only. It was once used to connect the Hawthorne bridge to Harbor Drive as seen in 1974.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

East Bank or Water Avenue to Marquam On Ramp Stub

This freeway stub is located on the east side approach of the Marquam bridge. It was to be an on-ramp of some type. The question is: where was this ramp bringing traffic from? MLK? The Morrison bridge? SE industrial area? In 1987, the city did a study about an East Bank/Water Ave on ramp that would have linked with this ramp. Unsure about it's original purpose when the bridge was built back in the 1960's.

Reference: East Marquam Interchange and Study Options, 1987, ODOT

Robert Moses and the freeways of Portland

During WW II, the city of Portland commissioned Robert Moses, an urban planner form New York City, to plan the transportation system for the future. Moses and his team envisioned a central freeway ring around city (see diagram below). This central ring became the Marquam and Fremont bridges, I-5 (aka East Bank freeway) and I-405 (aka Stadium freeway). Thru the 1950's and 60's, highway planners expanded on this ring, creating the following freeways: the Mount Hood (Marquam bridge ghost ramps), the Rose City or Prescott freeway (east end of Fremont bridge ghost ramps), the Baldock (I-5 south), the Banfield (I-84), the Sunset freeway (US 26 thru the west hills tunnels), the Minnesota freeway (I-5 north), the St. Helens 505 Industrial freeway (Hwy 30) and other freeways that were never built. These never-to-be-built freeways led to the many ghost ramps in our city.

The picture below shows the Marquam bridge under construction in 1964.

The Fremont bridge was completed in November of 1973.

The diagram pictured below was taken from Robert Moses Portland plan published in 1943.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

These are two of Portland's most famous "ghost ramps".

Both of these ramps were to connect the Marquam bridge traffic to the never to be completed Mt. Hood freeway. The Marquam was completed in 1966 and was planned with the Mount Hood as the next step. The top two northbound lanes were to connect to the Mt. Hood. The lower ramp (exit 300A) was to connect to the eastbound Mt. Hood. In 1992, the Marquam was modified and eliminated the "ghost ramps" on the top level. The ramp below still remains.

What is a "ghost ramp"? A partially or fully constructed freeway ramp that was never used or closed.