The Gnarly Burnside Bridge of Portland Dude

Burnside Skate Park in Portland, OR.: skateboarding

Monday, August 24th – “Do you even burn bro?” … “GNARLYYYYYY DUUUUUUDE”… maybe the most iconic dialogue of the season thus far.

This week Jeremy and Andreas drop in at Burnside Bridge in Portland, Oregon. It’s an epic episode that shreds through the planning and construction of the bridge, in addition to the impact that Burnside has on Bridge City. You may remember this name from the game Tony Hawk Pro Skater because it was one of the first parks in the game!

Portland is cut in half by the Willamette river, so the various bridges play an important role for city transportation. Specifically, the Burnside bridge is unique because it is the regional lifeline of Portland (literally it is designated as an official emergency transportation route). The map below demonstrates why Portland has been coined Bridge City. You can find Burnside right in the middle under the Steel Bridge and Above Morrison Bridge.

The Burnside Bridge has a rich history beginning with the original designers – a few racist kooks who tried to pull off a scheme to profit from the project but were then removed and arrested for bribery and collusion. The one and only Joseph B. Strauss was then brought in to clean up the mess.

Jeremy jumps into the technical details and breaks down our favorite type of Bridge thus far: a Steel Double-leaf Strauss-Style Trunnion Bascule…yeah you read that right. He breaks down the definition of each term in the episode, so make sure you take a listen!

Where We Live: The history of Burnside
This image exemplifies the steel double-leaf strauss-style trunnion basculeness

After Jeremy goes in on the design of the bridge, Andreas takes us through the genesis of the skatepark and how it has helped transform this area of Portland. The completely DIY skatepark has helped local shredders get out of the rain, cleaned up the area, and is now recognized as a legal/sanctioned park, albeit the bridge receives no funding from the city.

Be sure to check out this episode wherever you get your podcasts! We’re stoked to have the opportunity to cover Burnside this week. Thanks Charly from Portland for the recommendation!

P.S. Checkout this pretty sweet documentary of the bridge

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