Transportation — Facing some refinement, project will showcase Willamette River, Dundee hills in bridge design

While the design for a bridge crossing Highway 99W in Dundee is still being refined, Mayor Ted Crawford said it’s getting closer to something the city will be happy with.

“There’s a happy medium and we haven’t seen that yet,” Crawford said. “This is a tough decision because if it turns out that it doesn’t look that good we’ll be staring at it for the next 50 years. We’d rather it be something that looks good or we don’t at least cringe at.”by: SUBMITTED - Looking forward - Slated to cross Highway 99W at the 'fish hook' in Dundee, the bridge design is still a work in progress, although the theme has been selected and will represent the Willamette River and the Dundee hills.

The bridge will sit at what’s been denoted as the “fish hook” at the southwest end of town. So far the theme will be the Willamette River and the Dundee hills. Working designs include a metal river and the hills crafted out of fencing along the bridge’s side.

The proposals have just been either too realistic or not realistic enough, Crawford said. Some renderings have shown what looks like “bumps” across the bridge or over-structured mountains.

Lou Torres, Oregon De-part­ment of Transportation spokesman, said the process has taken about a year so far, including refining the concept and then deciding on materials, colors and final presentation.

“We’re going to go back and do more refining,” Torres said after a recent presentation to the Dundee City Council. “It takes a while to get something you’re comfortable with. We’ll go back to the August council meeting and hopefully we can come up with the design that we can move forward with. While we’re not in an extraordinary hurry, we would like to know in the next two or three months so we can continue and develop that.”

Agreeing with Crawford, Torres said ODOT is spending the extra time on the project to ensure the bridge is something people enjoy, even if that means continuing to develop the concept.

There has also been discussion of the city logo being stamped into the beams or affixed in some manner, minus the wine glass currently featured on the welcome sign.

“But because of the angle of the beams, we decided we wouldn’t be able to see them,” Crawford said. “(We want to) just stamp it into the concrete. Don’t try to get too fancy because people are only going to be able to see one side. We might negotiate with ODOT to use that money to maybe build us another welcome sign similar to the one now, but on the other side of town.”

He said he’s brought up the idea already with the council and “they didn’t say no.”

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