Filth does not look good on a cycle bridge
It’s the “no post week” and by fate I had to be in Rotterdam again last week. This time for the sad occasion of the funeral ceremony of one of my first cousins. Rotterdam is quite a journey from my home and I didn’t want to risk being late in case anything went wrong with the trains or with the OV-Fiets (bike share) that I had to use for the second leg of the journey. Nothing went wrong and that resulted in me being 45 minutes early. I had to be near the cycle bridge over the A15 motorway that I posted about when it was opened a little over two-and-a-half years ago. At the time, the magnificent bridge was called “De Groene Verbinding” (the Green Connection), because it connects Rotterdam with a developing green nature reserve, just south of the city. But the bridge has since been renamed “Portlandsebrug”. Not after the fine cycling city in Oregon, but after a new residential area and a polder in the area*. To my unpleasant surprise a lot more had changed! In the time I had to spare, I decided to have a look at the bridge, thinking I would be cheered up by the bright colours of this beautiful bridge. That worked out a bit differently. When you don’t do any (or much) maintenance, a bridge like that clearly doesn’t stay beautiful! I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
2017: The filth is especially visible inside the tube of the bridge. Apparently rain doesn’t get inside enough to wash the bridge clean. The once bright colours have turned completely drab.
2014: The bright colours of the surface and the white of the bridge looked a whole lot better when the bridge was just opened.
2017: A close-up of the once white bridge parts, now covered with a film of dirt.
2014: Will it ever be this clean again?
2017: that cycle path was once a bright colour…
2014: just after the bridge was finished.
2017: From a distance the bridge looks better than it is. At least the grass has grown well.
2014: Shortly after the opening the whole area was just sand.
2016: That the grass and shrubs grow so well was also a problem. Only after repeated complaints by residents, the city of Rotterdam finally removed the foliage overgrowing the access ramp of the bridge. Can someone also ask them to hose the bridge someday soon?
It’s not that the city of Rotterdam doesn’t do any maintenance. Some of the surface did get repaired, albeit in a seemingly hastily fashion.
The bridge in better days. My video to celebrate the opening, from the earlier post.
* There is a name connection between Portland Oregon and Portland Netherlands. The residential area called Portland in Rhoon near Rotterdam was named after a polder, owned (in the 17th century) by William Bentinck, who was the first Earl of Portland. That Portland being a island in the English Channel. Portland Oregon was named after Portland Maine, which in turn was named after the same British island the Dutch Portland was named after.