Notice that Moses suggested that the "east side thruway" should be between 7th and 8th on the east side, not along the river as I-5 was eventually built.
Here's a cogent argument against the MHF:
The environmental impact study in 1973-74 made it clear that even if the freeway were built to its largest proposed capacity (8 lanes plus dedicated busways), it would have still been overloaded not long after it was complete. In addition, another bridge would have been needed over the Willamette because the Marquam Bridge (which was built assuming that one day the MHF would also be built) was deemed too small to accommodate all that expected traffic. The new bridge would have added another $100 million or so to the project cost for a freeway that was already being disputed, a freeway that would not have the capacity necessary, and a freeway that was increasing in cost all the time because of rampant 1970s inflation. So, as Mr Bragdon has pointed out above, having the MHF money spent on all sorts of other transportation projects around the area was a much better use of funds in the long-term; local leaders were able to take advantage of the inflated value and get huge sums of infrastructure funding that would have otherwise not been available.
Nice article, but once again Robert Moses is given more credit than he is due. Moses included a Fremont Bridge in his 1943 plans, but a bridge in that vicinity had been an idea floating around since at least 1921. It shows up in a planning report by Charles Cheney at that time. Moses' 1943 plan was focused on inner and outer loops around the city, not the criss-cross of freeways that were suggested later. For a real wow factor, I suggest people find a copy of the Oregon Highway Division's 1955 report "Freeway and Expressway System" for Portland. That's where 14 freeways and other major roadways were recommended. It is quite interesting to a transportation history geek like myself.
Also, the Willamette Week article from a few years ago mis-identified the map they used showing the web of freeways. It was not Moses' map they used, rather it was a mid 1960s Portland Planning Commission map. Moses was certainly a powerful figure, but he was only one of several urban planning types who came to Portland in the first half of the 20th century. Many of his recommendations were just re-hashed suggestions from studies dating back (at least) to Bennett's 1912 Greater Portland Plan, if not earlier.
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