Intersection is a monumental steel sculpture that marks the entrance to the new Clinton Street Station in SE Portland, Oregon. Constructed of repurposed light rail track and steel bent into a seemingly impossible but pleasing, coherent and vaguely familiar vocabulary of curves and arcs, Intersection makes both formal and material references to the history of the neighborhood – an area that has been dramatically shaped by transportation infrastructure both built and imagined. The name “Intersection” refers to intersection on multiple levels: intersecting steel rail, the complex traffic intersection adjacent to the piece, the intersection of the Hosford-Abernathy and Brooklyn neighborhoods and the intersection of historical narratives, particularly those related to community organizing and transportation modalities.
By re-purposing surplus rail, Intersection seeks to recast this heavy industrial material into a playful, humanizing, even friendly form. Though the area around Clinton Station will surely undergo radical social and spatial transformation once the Portland-Milwaukie light rail line has opened in 2016, one thing remains certain: the past, present and future of this area of Portland is inextricably tied to a simple, extraordinarily powerful material: steel rail.