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Author Topic: Portland Road Stuff  (Read 4760 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Portland Road Stuff
« on: June 30, 2019, 09:28:46 PM »

My wife advised me that she wants to go Portland for her birthday this year.  Iíve only passed through Portland once over the years and feel a little out of my typical element.  Iíve heard that driving around Mount Hood via US 26, OR 35 and I-84 but I was wonder what is worth seeing road wise in the city?  Anything related to US 99, former highways, former infrastructure and bridges would be what Iím looking for. 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 06:26:07 PM by Bickendan »
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nexus73

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2019, 01:26:25 AM »

If you want to see some construction. take US 26 east of I-205.  It appears to be a mild road widening.  What is not so good is how US 26 comes into the urban area as a freeway/expressway, then quickly it goes down to a 2-lane street.  Huh?  You also do not have a full interchange with US 26 and I-205.

Road beauty appreciation: Take 99E from Oregon City to where an old section of freeway connects 99E with I-5 to then cross the Columbia.

Natural beauty: Go to Timberline Lodge.  Get up on the 2nd floor.  Look north towards Mt. Hood, which is all of two miles away and totally majestic.  It looks so close that many people try to climb it.  Someone dies every year on that mountain.  Signs warn of 21' snow in the winter.

Take Historic US 30 to the Vista House.  As good a look as one can get of the Gorge without being in an airplane.

Look on a map for the route on city streets to Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcano and the only one in an American city.  It is the center of a lush park and city water reservoir duo.  Look west and see how the West Hills dwarf what man has built in downtown PDX, which lays north of the West Hills.  A sea of roofs and trees from the close by residential area is the close in view.

Looking at 99W's northernmost stretch means taking SW Barbur Boulevard  Still some classic old road buildings around.  You feel like you are in a time machine when on this section.

Beautiful old bridge: St. John's.  Take US 30 west.  You can't miss it.  A pretty cool neighborhood is on the north end to look over.

Most beautiful part: The Ladd Addition.  This is a place that looks to be a century old in which someone built the grandest homes from then in what amounts to a forest and park combined.  A circular spoke pattern makes for an extra touch of glamor.  Look for it on a map. 

Breakfast: The Bomber on 99E, just south of Milwaukie.

Fave place: Benihana.  It is an annual tradition between my friend and me to eat a meal there.

Funky cool: Any of the McMenamins joints. This was Oregon's first craft beer company.  Their collection of properties, 55 and counting, is quite eclectic.  Some have old hotels.  One in the Hawthorne District, the Bagdad, is a place where you can dine and watch a movie in a classic 1930's theater.

Stay out of downtown to stay out of trouble. 

Hope you enjoy your trip to the Rose City!

Rick
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Bruce

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2019, 02:09:58 AM »

The Aerial Tram to Marquam Hill has an excellent view of the I-5 / I-405 / Harbor Drive interchange, as well as the surrounding skyline and mountains.

TEG24601

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2019, 02:00:53 PM »

Taking 99W into town, from the south, is a trip.  The road exits from itself, takes you over I-405, with a super-wide bridge, and you can see the remnants of Harbor Drive.  Lots of ghost ramps with the bridges.  Same for most of the major interchanges in and around the city.  The thing I always enjoyed was the OR-43/US-26/I-5/I-406 Interchange which is like a giant roundabout, with sharp corners, traffic signals, trams, loop ramps on neighborhood streets, and dead-end roads.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 07:07:01 PM by TEG24601 »
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Bickendan

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2019, 06:25:54 PM »

The ghost ramps on the Marquam Bridge for US 26/I-80N and at the Fremont Stack for the unbuilt Going Expressway. Best places to see them are from the ground under the Marquam and Hawthorne Bridges, and on Mississippi Ave as it weaves under the Fremont Stack. Glimpses can be seen from I-5 for all of them, and from the Kerby Ave ramps coming on/off the Fremont Bridge.

Ghost ramps still in existence: I-5 south to Mt Hood Freeway (prominent)
SE Industrial Distict to I-5 south
Steel Bridge to I-84/US 30 east
I-84/US 30 west to Lloyd Blvd west/OR 99E
I-5 north/US 30 west to Going east (take off)
I-5/US 30 (west) to Going east (landing berm)
Going west to I-5 south/US 30 east (both berm, and ramp to I-5)

Other things to note around the area: Catching glimpses of what would have been the Multnomah Expressway (now Multnomah Blvd) and the interchange with Terwilliger Blvd where Multnomah would have transitioned into the Johnson Creek Freeway (one of I-205's draft routings)

Piccolo Park at SE 28th Ave between Division and Clinton Streets, one of three places ODOT demolished homes in preparation of the Mt Hood Freeway

Bypass US 30 for the St Johns Bridge and for the pseudo expressway between MLK and Killingsworth

WA SR 14 and 500 for their freeway portions, 501 for its unfinished routing between Lake Vancouver and Ridgefield, and the permanently closed section from erosion by the Columbia, as well as Spur 501 along the west shore of the lake

Salem Parkway (if you get a chance), the remnants of the ill-fated I-305, and the OR 22 expressway between Rickreal and Salem

And if you want to meet up, let me know; I can see if I can dig up the planning documents I researched for various never built projects, including I-505 along St Helens Rd
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nexus73

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2019, 06:31:01 PM »

Taking 99W into town, from the south, is a trip.  The road exits from itself, takes you over I-405, with a super-wide bridge, and you can see the remnants of Harbor Drive.  Lots of ghost ramps with the bridges.  Same for most of the major interchanges in and around the city.  The thing I always enjoyed was the OR-42/US-26/I-5/I-406 Interchange which is like a giant roundabout, with sharp corners, traffic signals, trams, loop ramps on neighborhood streets, and dead-end roads.

OR 42 is in Coos and Douglas County.

Rick
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TEG24601

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2019, 07:06:53 PM »

Taking 99W into town, from the south, is a trip.  The road exits from itself, takes you over I-405, with a super-wide bridge, and you can see the remnants of Harbor Drive.  Lots of ghost ramps with the bridges.  Same for most of the major interchanges in and around the city.  The thing I always enjoyed was the OR-42/US-26/I-5/I-406 Interchange which is like a giant roundabout, with sharp corners, traffic signals, trams, loop ramps on neighborhood streets, and dead-end roads.

OR 42 is in Coos and Douglas County.

Rick


Yea, it is 43, not 42
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Dougtone

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2019, 10:02:48 PM »

I'll concur about checking out the St. John's Bridge. Other suggestions have been made about what to see, and I'll agree that they are good suggestions to follow.

Another interesting viewpoint of Portland and the mountains is from Rocky Butte, not far from I-205.

I'm more familiar with places to see in some of the counties surrounding Salem and out towards the coast. Oregon has a plethora of covered bridges as well, if you're into such things.

sparker

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2019, 03:37:25 AM »

Two "non-touristy" drives in Portland feature present and former bannered US 30 alignments.  A nice "round trip" is to take Sandy Blvd. (former Business US 30) northeast from downtown all the way out to Bypass US 30, then take the sharp angle left (west) on Bypass US 30 and take it along the industrial north side of town; it'll eventually enter the historic St. John neighborhood and eventually over the St. Johns suspension bridge.  At that point you can go either east or west on US 30; east will get you back into downtown (or at least to I-405). 

And if you like real BBQ, check out Buster's; there are locations in Tigard, Gresham, and Gladstone (I used to live near the Tigard one and ate there at least once a week for nearly 4 years).  Gresham has the nicest decor, though! 

An afterthought: take OR 212 east from I-205 through Boring and hang a right (east) on US 26; eventually make a U-turn on 26 to see one of the most ironic (as well as photographed) BGS's out there:
                                                                             Boring
                                                                           Oregon City


Fun stuff!

« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 03:39:41 AM by sparker »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2019, 02:30:54 PM »

I'll concur about checking out the St. John's Bridge. Other suggestions have been made about what to see, and I'll agree that they are good suggestions to follow.

Another interesting viewpoint of Portland and the mountains is from Rocky Butte, not far from I-205.

I'm more familiar with places to see in some of the counties surrounding Salem and out towards the coast. Oregon has a plethora of covered bridges as well, if you're into such things.

Any covered bridges within an hour or two of the city that are worth a look? 
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Hurricane Rex

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2019, 04:40:21 PM »

I've always thought the view and drive to Bald peak has been underrated. You can't see Portland proper but a clearer view of the big 5 (Rainier, St. Helen's, Adam's, Hood, and Jefferson. 3 sisters if your lucky (seen it once only with binoculars).

Newberg Dundee bypass would be good to see if interested in planning a road in multiple phases and/or 2 lane expressways.

Otherwise I second everyone else.

SM-J737T

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Dougtone

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2019, 08:35:41 PM »

I'll concur about checking out the St. John's Bridge. Other suggestions have been made about what to see, and I'll agree that they are good suggestions to follow.

Another interesting viewpoint of Portland and the mountains is from Rocky Butte, not far from I-205.

I'm more familiar with places to see in some of the counties surrounding Salem and out towards the coast. Oregon has a plethora of covered bridges as well, if you're into such things.

Any covered bridges within an hour or two of the city that are worth a look? 

Linn County Covered Bridge Tour is a good place to start.
https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/culture-history/covered-bridges/linn-county-covered-bridge-tour/

Gallon House Covered Bridge near Salem or Silverton.
https://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Pages/gallonhouse.aspx

There is also a map with all of Oregon's covered bridges.
https://www.oregonlive.com/travel/2017/09/oregons_54_covered_bridges_a_r.html

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2019, 06:50:12 PM »

The Portland trip (and really northern Oregon) came and went.  That being the case I finally got around to organizing my photos and putting them onto blog format.  The first blog up is pretty much all the Portland Road, Infrastructure and City stuff that I checked out.  The below blog is lengthy at 19 parts but includes the following; I-5 on the Marquam Bridge, OR 217, the Vista Ridge Tunnels, the history of US 99W in downtown Portland, history of the White Stag neon sign, Burnside Bridge, Morrison Bridge, the Chinatown Gateway on 4th Avenue, the 1st Avenue MAX light rail lines, Hawthorne Bridge, early US 26 on Canyon Road, the Vista Avenue Viaduct, Rocky Butte Road and Tunnel, St. Johns Bridge, Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge 5.1, Fremont Bridge and the western terminus of I-84.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2019/09/portland-road-and-cityscape.html
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nexus73

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2019, 08:32:29 PM »

Unmentioned in your 99W history is how 99W used to run up North Interstate Avenue, where it connected with I-5 and in a kinda-sorta way with 99E before crossing the Interstate Bridge.  What was once a 4-lane city street is now 2-lane with a MAX line.

Had you driven on the Fremont Bridge, you would have encountered the US 30 West interchange, which leads to a very short stub of freeway that would have been the start of I-505.  That route along with I-305 in Salem, which was superseded by the Salem Parkway, were two urban Interstates that were never built.

Looking at the pix shows you were extremely lucky to not encounter congestion.  Portland is infamous for jammed up freeways. 

Going east of the Morrison Bridge will quickly let a person see the Morrison Hotel.  No, it is not named after Jim Morrison...LOL!  Still, there is a bit of fame due to The Doors attached to that place.  Unfortunately it is no longer a hotel and the bar located in the building has closed. 

When the Baldock Freeway was built, it was numbered at US 99.  There was still US 99W and US 99E, which may have resulted in the only triple layer of highways with the same main number.  I-5 north of I-84 was called the Minnesota Freeway.  Go figure!

SR 217 did not get a full freeway interchange with I-5 until the last decade if memory serves me right.  The previous interchange had traffic lights to deal with before getting onto the freeway section of 217.  Massive congestion back then.  Today with the full interchange being present, the congestion is still massive.  Sometimes you just cannot win!

Too bad you missed out on the picturesque sections of 99E.  That part of the metro area is the easiest to drive.  Busy but not overwhelmed makes this main route the best one for getting around Portland.  One can then choose which bridge to cross the Willamette to access the west side. 

91 KISN (910 AM) back in the days of the Boss Radio format, was able to capture 85% of the radio listeners in Portland.  Yeah, it really was the boss!  Today the callsign goes to a low power FM station that only has 2 watts of effective radiated power so all of the Portland area is not covered.  What a change from those halcyon days! 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISN_(Portland)

Hope you enjoyed your time in the Rose City Max and that you like a light rail system with your name on it!

Rick

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Bickendan

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2019, 02:49:44 PM »

Minor point: You mention the Oregon Slough. It's the Columbia Slough.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2019, 09:30:56 PM »

^^^

Seems that there is always some small item that needs correction on those longer blogs. 

Unmentioned in your 99W history is how 99W used to run up North Interstate Avenue, where it connected with I-5 and in a kinda-sorta way with 99E before crossing the Interstate Bridge.  What was once a 4-lane city street is now 2-lane with a MAX line.

Had you driven on the Fremont Bridge, you would have encountered the US 30 West interchange, which leads to a very short stub of freeway that would have been the start of I-505.  That route along with I-305 in Salem, which was superseded by the Salem Parkway, were two urban Interstates that were never built.

Looking at the pix shows you were extremely lucky to not encounter congestion.  Portland is infamous for jammed up freeways. 

Going east of the Morrison Bridge will quickly let a person see the Morrison Hotel.  No, it is not named after Jim Morrison...LOL!  Still, there is a bit of fame due to The Doors attached to that place.  Unfortunately it is no longer a hotel and the bar located in the building has closed. 

When the Baldock Freeway was built, it was numbered at US 99.  There was still US 99W and US 99E, which may have resulted in the only triple layer of highways with the same main number.  I-5 north of I-84 was called the Minnesota Freeway.  Go figure!

SR 217 did not get a full freeway interchange with I-5 until the last decade if memory serves me right.  The previous interchange had traffic lights to deal with before getting onto the freeway section of 217.  Massive congestion back then.  Today with the full interchange being present, the congestion is still massive.  Sometimes you just cannot win!

Too bad you missed out on the picturesque sections of 99E.  That part of the metro area is the easiest to drive.  Busy but not overwhelmed makes this main route the best one for getting around Portland.  One can then choose which bridge to cross the Willamette to access the west side. 

91 KISN (910 AM) back in the days of the Boss Radio format, was able to capture 85% of the radio listeners in Portland.  Yeah, it really was the boss!  Today the callsign goes to a low power FM station that only has 2 watts of effective radiated power so all of the Portland area is not covered.  What a change from those halcyon days! 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISN_(Portland)

Hope you enjoyed your time in the Rose City Max and that you like a light rail system with your name on it!

Rick

We didnít get quite that far north on Old 99W to check out much of Interstate Avenue.  Really my wife was looking at kind of doing everything on the fly which kind makes it surprising how much of the City on top of Northern Oregon we ended up seeing.  I suppose it worked out for avoiding traffic, the worst bottleneck was in Seaside on US 101.  I still have stuff coming up for the following:

-  US 26 and the Sunset Highway
-  US 101 from Cannon Beach over the Columbia River
-  US 30 from Astoria to Portland
-  The Historic Columbia River Highway

Iíll be dipping back into Oregon later in the month to visit Crater Lake and Medford.  Iím looking forward to getting US 199 added onto Gribblenation not mention a ton of other highways around the area.   

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nexus73

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2019, 10:37:51 PM »

While you are in Medford, you will find an In-n-Out, a Trader Joe's and a Costco for your road needs.  The 62 bypass is open if you want to see a new stretch of semi-freeway.  As you pass through Gasquet, look for She-She's cafť if you like old fashioned greasy fries and a decent burger.  I do not know if they are still open.

There is also an In-n-Out at the I-5/US 199 interchange.  Plenty of gas stations with the cheapest prices in Grants Pass await. 

Before the route was called US 199, it was just an overland route that my paternal grandmother came over with the family in a Conestoga wagon.  Oregon Road, which is the original routing, was replaced with the Collier Tunnel.  If you have time, take both paths!  The rest area just south of Collier Tunnel is decent and rather large. 

Do not buy gas in Crescent City.  Wait until you are in Oregon to save money. Plan accordingly!

Rick
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2019, 12:17:11 AM »

While you are in Medford, you will find an In-n-Out, a Trader Joe's and a Costco for your road needs.  The 62 bypass is open if you want to see a new stretch of semi-freeway.  As you pass through Gasquet, look for She-She's cafť if you like old fashioned greasy fries and a decent burger.  I do not know if they are still open.

There is also an In-n-Out at the I-5/US 199 interchange.  Plenty of gas stations with the cheapest prices in Grants Pass await. 

Before the route was called US 199, it was just an overland route that my paternal grandmother came over with the family in a Conestoga wagon.  Oregon Road, which is the original routing, was replaced with the Collier Tunnel.  If you have time, take both paths!  The rest area just south of Collier Tunnel is decent and rather large. 

Do not buy gas in Crescent City.  Wait until you are in Oregon to save money. Plan accordingly!

Rick

The new OR 62 bypass is definitely on the list to check out.  This trip will be a drive up from Fresno and we're looking at three National Parks; Lassen, Crater Lake and Redwood.  I've been out in the area numerous times but this is the first time for my wife.  We're likely driving the Challenger this go around and if that stays to plan I'll likely do whatever I can not to fill up in Oregon even if that means paying more not to have someone touch it. 

Regarding Medford we have friends we are visiting, I want to say they have something planned for the night out in Jacksonville?  The first night we'll be staying in Weed, the second in Medford, the third night in Yreka and heading home on the 4th day.  Essentially my list of highways we'll be looking at is as follows:

CA 36 east to CA 89
CA 89 north to I-5 in Weed
CA 265 in Weed
US 97 north to OR 62 (this will make up for my crappy photos in my current stock)
CA 161 at least for a couple miles
OR 62
Rim Drive at Crater Lake National Park
OR 99/Old US 99 from Medford to Grants Pass
US 199
CA 197
Newton B. Dury Scenic Parkway in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
CA 169 western segment
CA 200
CA 255 (if time permits)
CA 96
CA 263
CA 3; the hanging end in Montague
CA 151
CA 273
CA 44 Freeway in Redding
The I-305 section of US 50

I think that on the last day I'll probably diverge from I-5 and CA 99 as much as possibly for the sake of sanity.  I'm looking at maybe stopping Castle Crags State park just for the hell of it.  County Route J7 might come into play the last day as well if we're good on time.  The only really problematic day is going to be the first one since I'll probably leave no later than 6 AM to optimize usable daylight hours.
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nexus73

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2019, 09:01:44 AM »

Being a native Oregonian who has traveled enough to contrast self serve gas with Oregon's pump attendants, I can say with confidence that the odds of a mishap are very remote when having a pump jockey fill a tank up.  You are more than welcome to stand outside and keep an eye on the whole deal too. 

Rick
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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2019, 12:48:25 AM »

You missed this neat button copy sign on the approach to the Hawthorne Bridge.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2019, 01:08:06 AM »

You missed this neat button copy sign on the approach to the Hawthorne Bridge.

Yeah, I really didnít get a chance to drive many of those bridges.  It was almost a bridge spotting expedition in downtown with as much walking as I did.  Iím so used to seeing button copy everyday sometimes I forget how rare it is in other regions nowadays.
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Re: Portland Road Stuff
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2019, 01:01:09 AM »

You missed this neat button copy sign on the approach to the Hawthorne Bridge.
So did I...

 


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