Since the grand opening date back in 1926, the Ross Island Bridge has provided a four lane heart attack in hiding. Crossing over the treacherous span is like testing your mental strength in suicide prevention (it’s not hard to jerk the wheel into oncoming traffic). Throw some light rain into the mix, and you’ve got a accident-stew goin’ on. I liken the RIB driving experience to an e.Coli outbreak at Jack in the Box*.
The other member of the open road faces a deeper threat to their mortalhood. I feel sorry for those pedestrians brave enough to cross Ross Island Bridge. If you’ve seen a power walker on RIB, try to catch a glimpse of their worried faces. Death is on the forefront of their mind.
Between SE/SW Portland, the RIB acts as the transportational nightmare of a vehicular road maze. The first time on the west approach, you will find the logic of multiple street turns mind blowing. It’s a mystery, how a city planner in the 20’s crafted the West Approach. Or, more likely, one of the subsequent planners took a normal approach and tried as hard as they could to f*** it all up. First of all, US26 slows to a snails pace as it snakes around SW Portland. Try not to get hit by a bus around the zigzag curves. Then you merge onto the highway for a split second, and cross the RIB.
Just as “boggling” is the trek from Powell to I-405. Especially if you are trying to get to the RIB from MLK. You’ll have to take a shady exit off of MLK, head through a sketchy industrial zone, go across a set or two of tracks, and on the wrong side of said tracks lies the Ross Island Bridge. One last hazard awaits: a deathly merge onto the bridge right by an ever-revolving strip club. Delightful.
*Jumbo Jack, Sourdough Jack, Crispy Meat Taco, Bacon Cheeseburger… if JITB has another e.Coli outbreak, we very well may starve to death.