Architect Miguel Rosales has been presenting his design for a new bridge across the Willamette at city hall tonight.
ROSALES' DESIGN: A cable-stay/suspension hybrid...

Tonight's presentation has aimed to boost support for Rosales' design as doubts form about whether Trimet will choose it, after all. The presentation has been organized by the Architecture Foundation of Oregon, the Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and Portland Spaces magazine.

The Willamette Bridge Advisory group—led by former Mayor Vera Katz—chose Rosales' bridge from 10 other designs earlier this year. But members of the advisory group are worried TriMet boss Fred Hansen may choose a more traditional, bulkier cable-stayed bridge because of pricing concerns over the hybrid option.

"Many of us will be extremely disappointed if what has been a very fair and open design selection process is once again trumped by what are now minor budget fears, considering that this bridge will be with us for many decades to come," wrote committee member David A Soderstrom in a letter dated March 6. "I hope other members of the bridge type advisory committee share my concerns and will weigh in to strengthen the resolve of TriMet to build a light rail bridge that enhances the overall project while adding less clutter to the Willamette harbor."

The total cost of the bridge is estimated at around $100m, said Rosales, during his presentation. The difference between a cable stay and hybrid bridge, roughly $10-$15million, Rosales thought.

We'll have more on this story as it develops over the coming weeks.