I drive over the Marquam Bridge every day and cannot figure out the purpose of the two towers that are being erected in the river south of the bridge. I don't recall any news announcements concerning such an expensive construction project.
Jeff, you incredible goombah, that's the new light-rail bridge that everyone in Portland has been talking about nonstop since at least 2008. Still, I understand—you're probably one of the many Portlanders who simply won't read news articles unless they include a lot of dick jokes. Of course, that makes you this column's target demographic, so here goes:
The towers you see thrusting skyward from the riverbed are part of the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail project that will bring the powerfully throbbing MAX Orange Line to the moist, inviting confines of northwest Clackamas County. The tumescent spires will support a long, hard bridge deck for the use of TriMet vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, at least some of whom will probably have erections.
You won't be able to drive your car on this bridge, though, no matter how many boners you have. This will help persuade you not to destroy the planet with your car, even though cars are really fun and super-convenient.
You may note the bridge spans that currently run from the shore out to the cofferdams look like they were nailed together out of old two-by-fours from somebody's dad's garage. If you're thinking, "Man, that doesn't look like a whole lot of bridge for $134 million," relax—it's just a temporary roadway for workers and gear.
The real bridge will be a high, gleaming structure with taut suspension cables, wide walkways and bike paths, and small observation decks where you can take a moment to breathe, admire the view, and masturbate meditatively in the setting sun.