Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 20th, 2009 at 10:55 am
The (very) long-awaited bike and pedestrian improvements to the Morrison Bridge will begin construction next week.
In the plans are a 15-foot wide shared path that will be added (only) to the south side of the bridge (it will be a two-way facility), from SW Alder Street to SW Naito Parkway on west side and SE Water Ave. on the east side. This $1.9 million project will vastly improve biking conditions on this bridge. Currently, the Morrison has only five-foot sidewalks (even narrower at pinch points) on each side.
According to Multnomah County, the Morrison Bridge has the lowest rates of bike use of the five downtown bridges. For comparison, the most popular bike bridge, the Hawthorne, has a 10-11 foot wide bike/ped path in each direction.
If you ride on the Morrison, note that Multnomah County plans to close the south sidewalk during the project but the north sidewalk will remain open.
In addition to the new bike/ped facility, planners say this project will improve safety with the construction of a new intersection. The current bridge off-ramp on the eastside merges with an I-5 off-ramp at SE Water Ave. The new intersection will be about 70-feet north of the freeway off-ramp.
Also improving safety will be a two-foot tall concrete wall with a one-foot metal “pedestrian rail” on top of if. The “crash-worthy” barrier will run from the top of the ramp at SW Naito all the way to the top of the SE Water off-ramp.
Other new features in store with this project include (for reference, here’s a link to a Google Map of the bridge):
- A new sidewalk and bicycle lane on the bridge on-ramp from SW Alder St. that will run from SW 2nd Ave. to the top of the Naito on-ramp.
- A crosswalk and signage will be added at the top of the Naito ramp on the west side of the bridge, to help pedestrians and cyclists crossing between the path and the SW Alder St. ramp.
- The six existing lanes will be narrowed from the current 13 feet to 11 feet. One of the three existing lanes on the SW Alder St. ramp will be removed and replaced with a new bike lane and sidewalk.
The project is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.
— For more details on this project, view the County’s press release issued yesterday (PDF)