The Blue Bridge, also known as the Cross Canyon Bridge, is a curved pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting the north and south halves of the Reed College campus in Portland, Oregon, United States. The bridge crosses Reed Lake, located within the 28-acre watershed on campus known as the "canyon"; this includes part of the course of Crystal Springs Creek, a tributary of Johnson Creek. The Blue Bridge, completed in 1992, marks the third in a series of bridges that have been commonly referred to as the "cross canyon bridges", signifying their function on campus.
The Blue Bridge replaced the Arthur M. Churchill Memorial Bridge, completed in 1959 as a replacement for a flat wooden bridge constructed in the 1930s. The unique design of the Churchill Memorial Bridge, which was supported by two cantilevers of pre-stressed plywood and covered with a thin canvas membrane, made it the only one of its kind in the world. The canvas membrane was later determined to be too slippery. Replacement of the Churchill Memorial Bridge arose from the Campus Facilities Master Plan, adopted by the City of Portland in 1990. From the designs offered by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership (now known as ZGF Architects LLP), the Canyon Committee chose a concrete structure, benefits of which included a longer lifespan, lower maintenance costs and the least environmental damage to the canyon during construction.
The Blue Bridge received the award for "Excellence in Concrete" from the American Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association. Known for its aesthetics, the bridge is often pictured in catalogs and displays to attract students to the campus. It has served as a meeting place and has been cited as a favorite location on campus by students and faculty. The bridge was featured in the films Feast of Love (2007) and Blue Like Jazz (2012).
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