Portland is home to many majestic and awe-inspiring bridges, and one of the most iconic of them all is the Hawthorne Bridge. It spans across the Willamette River from east to west Portland, connecting various neighborhoods and providing a link between two very different parts of the city.

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Built in 1910 by bridge engineer Gustav Lindenthal, this major transportation hub was named after physician J.C. Hawthorne who served as mayor of Portland between 1908 and 1910. The unique design features a 244-foot vertical lift span which can be raised to allow tall ships to pass underneath, along with two fixed spans on either side measuring 142 feet each. Once opened it became one of only three vertical-lift bridges across North America, quickly establishing itself as an important landmark for Portlanders everywhere.

With its distinctive design and rich history, the Hawthorne Bridge has become an symbolic icon for Portland’s culture and identity. Its picturesque steel towers and suspension cables have inspired multiple pieces of local artwork depicting its grandeur (along with other bridges around town). But it also serves a practical purpose to Portland life: commuting car drivers from one side to another, transporting cyclists safely over narrow sidewalks, or just providing an exhilarating view high above the riverbanks for those brave enough to approach it from below!

Keeping this bridge safely up-to-date requires ongoing efforts from professional engineers throughout the years – especially when considering its challenging construction conditions due to soft riverbed soil which necessitated innovative engineering techniques like pneumatic caissons for strong foundations. In 1985 a major reconstruction effort was made with new steel trusses and cables replacing the original ones while later on in 2012 efforts were focused on improved safety measures by adding bike lanes dedicated exclusively for cyclists making their way through town traffic!

But aside from its impressive design features or practical uses, what makes the Hawthorne Bridge so remarkable is that it stands as an example of resilience during uncertain times – whether these may be economic struggles related to high rates of inflation or a global pandemic preventing people from traveling freely around town. It’s been standing tall for more than 100 years now; living testimony that Portlanders know how best navigate adversity whilst still protecting their unique landmarks!

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