Steel Bridge, with its immediate Eastside approach, is
the only stretch on the MAX system that is utilized by all four through lines:
Blue, Red, Yellow and Green.
This massive structure over the Willamette River has two levels. The
upper one handles light rail, as well as a single lane each way for bus and general
vehicular traffic. (There are also narrow pedestrian walkways on either side.) The
lower level has two railroad tracks for freights and Amtrak use, and
a bicycle and pedestrian path, added relatively recently. The bridge
has had a long history; in 2012 it will complete its first century of
Probably few would maintain that the structure is beautiful, but there is a
magnetic and very powerful quality -- at least for some -- about its appearance.
One of the two distinctive spires of the Oregon
Convention Center appears in the left background in this view, taken from
public river access near Naito Pkwy. north of downtown.