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Rust on Greenway bridge will save money on painting

I've got to admit that I'm one of those people who didn't like the way the new pedestrian bridge over Barnett Road looked. With the plastic removed, I've got to say it's growing on me. I like those pillars on the walkways that lead to the bridge. I know you've gotten a lot of questions about the rusty bridge itself, but I've seen big rust stains down the pillar. Is that going to be a problem?

— Kate S., Medford

That rusty look has confounded more people than you can imagine, Kate. But, you're right, the rust stains are a trade-off, according to Cory Crebbin, Medford's public works director. Remember the old saying, "Rust never sleeps," and get used to seeing the orange evidence for decades to come.

You can view the rust stains as a reminder that the city will save money because rust will cut the maintenance costs on the bridge itself, which is intended to rust and won't require painting.

If you look closely, Kate, you'll see the entire bridge isn't rusty. Safety screens have been powder-coated a black color. Crebbin said those screens should require little maintenance, as well.

The bridge should open to the public in September. It is considered the final link in the 21-mile-long Bear Creek Greenway.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.