Monday, January 03, 2011

The Flow of Grain in Portland

CLD Pacific's Irving elevator along the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Morning errands at the print shop and camera store afforded me the opportunity to take a look around downtown Portland, as the hum of industry returned on the first Monday of the new year. The flow of export wheat through the city continues, arriving from the prairies by rail, truck, and barge, for transloading onto ocean-going ships, many bound for Asian ports.

In the photo above, Oregon Pacific Railroad no. 501 unloads a few of the many covered hoppers full of grain at CLD Pacific's Irving elevator, one of two grain elevators on Portland's downtown waterfront. Arriving trucks are visible at lower left, while the northern approach to the I-405 Fremont bridge is visible in the background. At far right, an interchange ramp swings above Interstate Avenue and the Trimet MAX light rail Yellow Line. The hard verticals and horizontals of transportation infrastructure dominate the entire frame, yet the natural course of the unseen Willamette River (to the left) lends its graceful curve to the built environment.

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