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A time lapse of the three year construction

This is the first major bridge built in the United Stated that has no capacity for private vehicular traffic. Transit, bikes, and walking only. So of course it is in Portland, Oregon.

A vital element of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project is a new bridge across the Willamette River, the first span built over the river since the addition of the Fremont Bridge in 1973. Named Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, this bridge will be distinctive in the United States, designed to carry light rail trains, buses, cyclists, pedestrians and streetcars, but not private vehicles. However, emergency responders will be able to drive on it if necessary.

From a distance, Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, may look complete, but construction continues. Through 2014, crews will install rail for the trackway, the overhead electrical system that delivers power to the light rail vehicles, handrails for the multi-use paths, and barriers between the trackway, bridge cables and the multi-use paths. In 2015, expect to see light rail vehicles, streetcars and potentially buses on the bridge before the opening date while testing and the training of all transit operators occurs.

The bridge will open for use with the start of light rail service in September 2015.

This bridge will hopefully relieve traffic on Steel Bridge as that is the primary rail transit bridge across the Willamette.

Since the Steel Bridge is over a hundred years old the relief of traffic will hopefully reduce the number of MAX Train delays because the tracks on the bridge get out of alignment.

Shortly after midnight on the morning of August 9, 1912 the old Steel Bridge was closed with much ceremony, while the new Steel Bridge (i.e. the Steel Bridge still in use today) opened . . . to little fanfare (Morning Oregonian, 10-August-1912).

Thankfully at least one city is preparing for the energy change we have been in denial about since the 70's.

Originally posted to PDX Metro on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 06:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by Koscadia and Daily Kos Oregon.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jars count as comments (35+ / 0-)

    So I'm going to try and limit my commenting otherwise. Don't want to get to 29,999 too fast which I'll reach tomorrow if I keep commenting.

  •  Thank you, Horace! (6+ / 0-)

    A nice bridge indeed. The PDX riverfront has changed so much since I last worked in downtown ('98), I had trouble figuring out where this was. Thank goodness, it shows up on Google Earth, albeit very incomplete.

    I was last in PDX about three weeks ago, but I find all the new buildings somewhat overwhelming, especially in the south end.

    And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

    by itzadryheat on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 06:47:34 PM PDT

  •  Wasn't my favorite name choice, (4+ / 0-)

    but the bridge is pretty cool. Though I will warn everyone, that "it's cloudy/foggy/rainy 75% of the time" feeling you get from the time lapse is real, so don't quit your day jobs unless you like moss and puddles.

    "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

    by CJB on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 07:10:23 PM PDT

  •  It is indeed lovely. I've been watching it (9+ / 0-)

    for a couple of years.
    I no longer drive because of physical limitations and, if you are in the same boat, I want to tell you that the Portland Metro area has the best handicap accessible transit I know of anywhere.
    The three County transit authority, TriMet is an absolute model. Their schedule-able Lift Program is door to door anywhere and costs $2.40 one-way. The light rail, MAX, cited by Horace, and buses are $2.00 for a two day pass and $1.00 one way. The downtown loop is free.
    You can't afford to drive for that, much less park.

    "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Labarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

    by Joe Jackson on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 07:28:48 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately I've seen too many disabled (5+ / 0-)

      Stuck out in the rain in a wheelchair waiting for that lift. The worst one was eight hours after their appointment was over. I can't really do the bus any longer, too dangerous. If the driver doesn't injure me by taking off before I can sit down, I still have to deal with getting bruised by casual contact by other passengers. And to top it off my joints are so bad I can no longer tolerate the pounding vibration of the bus. The last time I spent little more than an hour on the bus I was in such bad shape I got home and slept for four hours.

      Yes the transit is good here. But really only for the ambulatory. If you are disabled you are expected to keep up. And if you can't convince people to give up the seats reserved for you before the driver takes off, tough shit you are going down.

      •  Really sad these attitudes prevail in "friendly" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III, Shahryar


        "Don't buy upgrades....ride UP grades." -Eddy Merckx

        by Delta Overdue on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 08:35:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Looking Disabled (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III, Shahryar

        My husband is visually impaired, and uses a white cane. We've found that most (but not all) folks will give up a seat on public transit if they are aware that someone needs the seat more than they do. So if it's not too personal a question, would you use a walker if you had one? I'm not talking about the cheap aluminum kind that Medicare provides, but a good wheeled one that also has a seat and storage for small items. Even if you don't strictly need one, a walker can increase your personal space so you don't get jostled as much, and provide stability on public transit. I understand if you wouldn't want to use a walker because there still is some stigma attached to "looking disabled".

        •  I'm not supposed to because putting weight on my (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shahryar, blueoasis, Just Bob

          arms using crutches or a walker stretches my aorta, and we really want to avoid that. Same reason I'm not supposed to use the monkey bars on the bus. But I don't look disabled unless you know the symptoms of connective tissue disorder, then with mine they freak out.

          But even with a walker the people sitting in the disabled seats at the front of the bus still will not get up unless asked and like I said by the time I convince them I need the seat the driver is already taking off. They tend to open seats up as soon as I hit the floor for some reason though.

      •  Horace (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        Have you looked into a power chair? I'm limited to mine and it works well for me and TriMet.
        You can talk with the NuMotion folks, they have a bunch of locations locally.

        "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Labarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

        by Joe Jackson on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 01:39:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have an issue with bumps/vibration (0+ / 0-)

          And I know from the ones in the store that it is going to be too much. It will be like the bus I can no longer use it.

          Besides the point that I need to be walking in order to maintain less pain. In the short term walking hurts like hell but the pain that develops from inactivity is even worse.

  •  Meanwhile, across the river, we have crazed Clark (4+ / 0-)

    County Commissioners who lobbied hard against Portland's MAX light rail system, which was an integral part of replacing the last effing draw-bridge on I-5.  Then they promote a third bridge that would do nothing to relieve congestion, not to mention bring an alternate form of transportation to an entire adjacent community.  

    Some people say Vancouver, Washington has a disproportionately rightward lean for a large city because conservatives move there to "escape" from Portland's progressive nature.  I don't know if that's true, but a look at the local papers comment section indicates no shortage of mouth-breathers.

    "Don't buy upgrades....ride UP grades." -Eddy Merckx

    by Delta Overdue on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 08:28:30 PM PDT

    •  I know people that moved to Vancouver (5+ / 0-)

      Because they thought rail was going in.

    •  Worse than that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III

      They demand a $3.5 billion bridge that merely replaces an existing bridge, thus adding zero to capacity. Lots of lanes on the replacement bridge don't mean squat after they get squeezed back down to freeway width. What's more, the replacement bridge would not have been high enough to allow ships of a certain size to sail under. (Uhh, ask the Coast Guard first, why don't you?)

      Lots of maroons on the Oregon side pushed that boondoggle as well. In fact, we were saved by Tea Party sympathizers in the WA legislature who were terrified the new bridge might carry trains and the odd bicycle.

      Thus, Portland was spared its own "Big Dig."

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:27:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I will call it the Kirk Reeves Bridge (5+ / 0-)

    Tri-Met had a "contest", soliciting suggestions for the name of the bridge. The runaway winner was not even considered among the final group of names.

    Here's a bit of hokum from the TriMet site:

    We asked you to help name the new transit bridge across the Willamette, and you came through in a big way! The Bridge Naming Committee reviewed nearly 9,500 submissions to find those that would connect and inspire—not just now, but 100 years from now—and best reflect the region’s history and culture.

    The committee unanimously selected “Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People” for the name for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge.

    Yes, you came through in a big way, chose a name we didn't like so we ignored it and unanimously chose something else altogether.

    Reeves was a much liked, often homeless, street musician who played his trumpet on bridge on-ramps in Portland, as well as other locales in the city. Life got too much for him in 2012.

    TriMet's explanation for not naming the bridge after Reeves included saying that people in Beaverton and Tualatin might not know who Reeves was. I have no idea why we'd be concerned about that since it's a walking, biking, public transit bridge and not a car bridge!!

    TriMet did say they weren't opposed to naming it after a person as Abigail Duniway made the final group of four names. I suppose that's because she's so well known in Beaverton?

    Anyway, it's a great idea and I'm glad it's there.

    Dear NSA: I am only joking.

    by Shahryar on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 08:51:07 PM PDT

  •  The Tilikum Crossing is also designed to survive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    a 9 point earthquake. It may be about the only thing in the city still standing when the Big One hits. Still, good to know we will have a way across the river. I don't relish the though of swimming the Willamette, even a cleaned up Willamette.

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:21:39 PM PDT

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