Exit133 is about Tacoma
Imagine Tacoma – Ride the Bridge
Now that the Murray Morgan Bridge has been selected as one of Washington State’s Top Ten Most Endangered Properties by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, what about thinking of the structure as more than a functional means of having vehicle access to the Port of Tacoma?
How about the Bridge as an interactive part of recreational Tacoma? Re-establish the ramped access from the bridge deck to Dock Street to allow for both pedestrian and bicycle circulation to wind down to the waterway. Incorporate one of the bridge pylons as a covered climbing wall. Reconfigure the bridge deck for a lane of vehicle traffic each way with the rest area devoted to pedestrian and viewing opportunities. Consider an area of the stationary bridge deck as a launch site for a zip-line with new areas under the structure for a pocket skate park?
Add vertical circulation towers at each end of the span to provide direct pedestrian access to the Foss Esplanade Walkway below – with the West Tower connecting to a new Municipal Dock Multi-Modal Facility and the East Tower giving access to the ‘D’ Street Promenade to Urban Waters and a relocated Cheney Stadium. Both towers could have passenger lifts designed with large visible counter-weights ala the technology of the adjacent lift bridge.
And what about getting the lift bridge in smooth operational shape so the deck can be raised on a regularly scheduled and posted basis? How about designing the revamped bridge deck to allow for passengers to take the ride (for a small fee of course)– and enjoy a most unique view of the City and Port of Tacoma? The Duluth/Superior Aerial Lift Bridge is a sister bridge that is also a major attraction in the area– why can’t the MMB be a ‘must-do’ for anyone visiting Tacoma? And purchase of an erector set model of the bridge is the ‘must-have’ souvenir of the experience (available at the History Museum Gift Shop located next-door to the Chihuly Bridge).
Incorporate the bridge into the connecter of a Murray Morgan 3-Miler Route around the Foss Waterway: A figure 8 walking and biking route from the Northend of Downtown (with a direct connection to the Walk the Water route) to the Southend around Waterway Park. Work the route into the Tacoma Marathon and perhaps consider starting the Daffodil Parade on the East Side of the Waterway before it turns South onto Pacific Avenue?
While the City seems to be continually looking for a renaissance ‘icon’ structure for downtown– why not imagine a renovated and rejuvenated Murray Morgan Bridge that already HAS historical and engineering significance and can connect the East Side of the Foss Waterway into Downtown?
Do you want to help the folks at Exit133 pay our bills and keep up with of all things Tacoma? Do you want to see even more coverage? Exit133 has always been free to read and comment, and it will stay that way. However, over the years, readers have contributed to the bank account to help us keep up our coverage of goings-on around town. Contribute and this message disappears!Support Exit133