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