Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

The bridge to ...

The Robert Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is a 3000 foot suspension bridge for foot and bicycle traffic which links the cities of Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The Bridge connects the Omaha Riverfront to the former Playland Park area in west Council Bluffs.

The Bridge's namesake is Robert ("Bob") Kerry, a highly-decorated Vietnam war veteran and local restaurateur who served as Nebraska Governor and U.S. Senator. Kerrey is also known as the one-time boyfriend of actress Debra Winger, and an unsuccessful candidate (that's the Kerrey with the "E") for President of the United States.

Kerrey has retired from politics and currently serves as President of The New School, a progressive university in New York City.

The Bridge opened to pedestrian traffic in late September, 2008, with construction beginning in October of 2006.

The Bridge is open 24x7 and is brilliantly lit at night, with countless floodlights ...

The Bridge's suspension hardware is intended to be part of its decor.

From the Bridge is a spectacular view of the downtown Omaha skyline, day and night.

Atop the 220 foot twin suspension towers are displays of changing colored lights.

The Bridge's walkway is just over half of a mile from Nebraska soil to Iowa soil and slopes gently up toward the center. It's an easy walk, and fully accessible.

One obvious omission is that there is no marking at the state line!

Critics of the project use the threadbare and timeworn trite expression "Bridge To Nowhere", but that is not entirely untrue!

While the Omaha end of the Bridge links up with a very popular area for strolling, dining, jogging, bicycling, which has seen much development, including apartments and townhomes, both high-rise and low-rise ...

There's really not much on the Iowa side. Much more will be coming REAL SOON, so they say, such as a riverfront drive and a pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood, but as of now, the Iowa ramp empties into a small city park.

Until the 1960s, this area of west Council Bluffs was home to Playland Park, a very popular amusement park and stock car racetrack.

Playland Park included many adult and youth rides, including a wooden roller coaster, bumper cars, ferris wheel, carousel, penny arcade, etc.

Most of what was the amusement park was seized by eminent domain for the construction of the I-480 bridge. However, the racetrack lasted well into the 1970s.

The bridge is already quite popular, particularly during the cool autumn days and evenings.

Technical information:

Night shots: Fujicolor 1600, Canon QL17 GIII

Day shots: Fujicolor 200, Olympus Stylus and Kodachrome 64, Canon QL17 GIII

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Worth 10,000 words!

Seen in Hamburg, Iowa.