home

Alert: Steel Bridge lower deck closed until further notice – UPDATED

Posted by on July 27th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Riding the upper deck of the Steel Bridge.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Just got word from the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation that effective immediately, the gates on the lower deck of the Steel Bridge are closed, making the lower deck of the bridge inaccessible to both biking and walking traffic on both the east and west ends of the bridge.

This is a big deal because the Steel Bridge is the detour route for the Broadway Bridge, which is closed to all vehicles due to streetcar construction.

PBOT spokesperson Cheryl Kuck says the lower deck gates will remain locked through tonight and she doesn’t expect them to open until after tomorrow’s morning commute. A structures engineer is slated to evaluate the issue at first light. No other details about the nature of the issue is known at this time, but the malfunctioning gates do pose a significant safety hazard.

The upper deck of the bridge is still accessible. There is a “Bikes on Bridge Roadway” sign on the upper deck and people on bikes are allowed to ride in the lane. There is also a narrow sidewalk on each side.

PBOT says, “Pedestrians and bicycles using the narrow walkways on the upper deck are advised to be extra cautious and share them safely.” Stay tuned for more information.

UPDATE: As of 12 noon the gates are still closed. Lots of confusion down ther and still no warnin at detour signs.

UPDATE: The gates have been reopened. Here’s the statement from PBOT:

The pedestrian gates on the lower deck of the Steel Bridge are now OPEN, making the lower deck of the bridge accessible again to both pedestrians and bicycles on both the east and the west ends of the bridge.

The lower deck gates were closed and locked late Tuesday night due to an operational problem. All four of the automatic gates for the bridge lift were stopping before they were completely closed, leaving a gap of one foot or so. A structures engineer this morning did not find any obvious mechanical issues with the gates adjacent to the bridge lift structure. The problem was then referred to electricians, who determined a problem with the proximity sensors and completed necessary repairs.

Transportation is aware of the poor condition of the three bridge warning/closure signs – one on the west end of the bridge, two on the east end. The signs have been so vandalized that they need to be replaced to be effective. Transportation is beginning the process to replace the signs.

More coverage over on the Hard Drive blog.

Email This Post Email This Post


Gravatars make better comments... Get yours here.
Please notify the publisher about offensive comments.
Comments
  • MIndful Cyclist July 27, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Wow, nice of ‘em to give us some notice…..

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Hart July 27, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    The other day I was waiting for the lower deck to be lowered and the entire time it was raised and lowered the alarm was silent. It was actually rather eery to see the massive bridge moving totally silent like that. The operator ran the alarm briefly before opening the gates, but one of the gates jammed and would not open for a couple minutes. I wonder if this has something to do with the closure.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Lascurettes July 27, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    This is the worst sort of timing.

    Instead of detouring to Steel from Broadway today, I took NE 21st all the way to Couch and took the Burnside Bridge to get downtown. I guess I’ll have a lot of company tomorrow.

    Maybe I’ll try the taking the lane on the upper deck of the Steel. Anyone have any experience with this? How is it?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Charley July 27, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I’ve taken the lane going Westside to Eastside. If you don’t mind going up the hill, the detour is not bad at all. The distance is very short, and most drivers are fine. Just don’t ride over to the side- they’ll definitely try to squeeze by, even though there’s not enough room.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Mindful Cyclist July 27, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    It seems like there is excessive car traffic at rush hour with the Broadway Br closure. At least the few times I have taken MAX to work it was like that. It may be faster just to walk your bike on path.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Zaphod July 27, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks for the update as I’ll be loaded with cargo heading west. Need to rethink route with minimal vertical.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • 2ManyHobbies July 27, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I just rode across the lower part of Steel Bridge around 7:30. The gates were open but the warning lights were flashing incessantly like the bridge was about to raise. It looks to me like some electronics shorted in the heat.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Alexis July 27, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I ran into the very beginning of this bridge closure tonight. It was extremely frustrating because (at least at that point) there was no notice of it at the top, where you need it because you can still detour to the upper deck relatively easily. It wasn’t until I got to the top of of the stairs/ramp that there was any warning, and it was only a small sign by the stairs (normally folded, I think) that warned away pedestrians — the guy ahead of me missed it, and I wasn’t sure I should take it seriously because there were no other signs.

    I was closing in on the end of a long day, coming from NE where the Broadway would have been the best and fastest route home (so I had already been detoured once), hungry, and tired. Being detoured a second time after I had already descended was incredibly frustrating. I probably should have gone back up, but instead I ended up riding south and at the point where I reached the Burnside Bridge, hating the idea of going any further out of my way and climbing the long staircase up to the bridge instead of going down to the Morrison.

    It was a frustrating night, and I really wish that with the Broadway Bridge closed, they had taken the time and effort to be clear about the closure. Bikes and pedestrians need detours, and detour signs, too.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • K'Tesh July 27, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    This sounds fun… NOT!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ted Buehler July 27, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    I was at the Steel Bridge at 9pm. It rose for a boat, lowered, and a train went over it. All foot traffic diverted to the top deck.

    I always take the lane on the top deck. It’s not bad, the trick is to stay far to the right when climbing up to the main span, and let all the cars go by. The lane gets skinny, conveniently, at the same point the grade levels out. So take the lane over the lift span and down the grade. Same technique for
    going both east and west.

    With all the Steel and Broadway bike traffic on the top deck, taking the lane is clearly the way to go.

    You can access the top deck eastbound from 3 different on-ramps:
    * Eastbound Everett at 3rd.
    * Northbound Naito around Davis St
    * Southbound Naito underneath the Steel Bridge

    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Todd Boulanger July 28, 2010 at 2:41 am

    How about temporary detour sharrows for all detour reroutes during the Broadway closer…this would take riders over the main deck of the Steel anyway?

    Signs by themselves in a detour route typically get knocked down or moved …so the sharrows would reinforce where the engineers expect the traffic to avoid the workzone.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Vance Longwell July 28, 2010 at 4:20 am

    Apparently this is some issue with that gate, and the heat. It is my understanding that the gate has malfunctioned due to the heat at least once this year, and several times in the past.

    I think that’s why there wasn’t much notice.

    It simply blows my mind that people don’t just ride over the bridge and leave the pedestrians to their sidewalk under the thing. Don’t know what’s wrong with Burnside either.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Johnson July 28, 2010 at 6:19 am

    How about permanent sharrows, or better yet, a permanent buffered bike lane on the Steel? That bridge is a deathtrap when the lower deck is closed, which is all too frequent in the winter.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • KD July 28, 2010 at 7:34 am

    All of this insanity, just to put in a street car that’s slower than walking and poses a major hazard to its faster and cheaper counterpart, the bicycle. ***portion of comment deleted for inappropriate insult***

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Scott Mizée July 28, 2010 at 7:37 am

    I disagree that the upper deck of the Steel is a deathtrap.

    I take it quite regularly and it was my daily route into downtown when I worked on the west side of the river.

    I use the same method that Ted Buehler recommends above with one exception: When heading up the right curving incline on the east side, I stay on the far left side of the lane. There is extra room on the shoulder there and it provides more visibility to passing motorists that come up behind me.

    The upper deck of the steel is a great way to get into downtown–and I very much appreciate the “Bikes on Bridge Roadway” sign.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • lda July 28, 2010 at 8:03 am

    7:00 am this morning, still no sign at top deck alerting cyclists. Seems like an easy thing to do, put a sign up that says that bottom deck is closed…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Mia Birk July 28, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Suggestion: take the Eastbank down to the Morrison Bridge and try the new pathway into downtown. Very few people using it so far. Mia

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • JAT in Seattle July 28, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Temporary sharrows? sounds like a job for the Nike Chalkbot (assuming it’s finished with the lucrative post Tour criteriums).

    My apologies to those who abhore the hegemony of sports cycling.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • ILikeYourNewHaircut July 28, 2010 at 8:14 am

    It would be nice if there was a sign on the esplanade path so I could detour earlier, and take the burnside stairs.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Wayne July 28, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I used to commute from Westside down to SWan Island, and would regularly come down Naito Parkway from Barbur, and take the top deck of the Steel Bridge, then down into the Rose Quarter. Generally I had few problems with traffic, but this was early in the morning. One thing, if it is still there – is a metal joint in the road just as you are climbing right to get to the top deck and cross east. It’s on the far right, and the way it’s designed, if you’re not careful, on skinny tires if you don’t hit it at a good angle, it might cause a spill in an unfortunate place regarding traffic. Anyway, I commuted this way for a number of years.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Crash as result July 28, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Like other puzzled riders this morning, I turned around at the gate (no signs, no workers around at 7:45) and went south to Burnside. The steps take you to the south side of the bridge, so I went west into downtown on the sidewalk. On the sidewalk, I was traveling at a safe speed and passed a walker going east. I heard her yell, “Use the bike lane, bitch!” Just as I’m thinking about design flaws in our bikeways and the closure of the bridge and what would happen if they suddenly closed a major route to cars (with no explanation or work crew to help sort out the mess), I decide to stop to tell this woman that a bridge is out, that she needs to consider that I’m going west and don’t want to be in the eastbound bike lane. Then it happens: another biker crashes into me from behind and splits her nose open on the sidewalk (her glasses probably cut her). The first question she asks as blood is dripping everywhere, is why did I brake? I explain that I was going to tell the woman who, as I think of it now, was yelling at her (hence “bitch”, maybe) about the bridge closure. The other biker handles the spill calmly, and we both consider karma (I probably should have just kept riding and not responded to someone screaming at me).

    So, to engineers and other city planners, consider this: hundreds if not thousands of bikers use this route, especially now that Broadway is closed, every day. How about some warning? Signs? Lights? Blocking the route earlier? A detour? Something?! A sign could have been placed near the upper deck to warm about the lower, the PA system on the bridge could have been used to tell people no large ship was coming, that the closure was due to the gates.

    Kelly, I hope you’re OK and have a better day. Steven

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • clover July 28, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I rode across the top deck of the Steel Bridge in the roadway last week. I was pulling a giant trailer loaded up with two bikes on my way to pick-up friends at the train station. I wouldn’t have chosen this route if I thought my wide-load would have fit on the lower passage, but I didn’t feel like I had much choice so I made the journey on the top-deck with the cars. I was somewhat afraid when I started, but I found it wasn’t so bad. There was a huge line of vehicles behind me, but no one honked or expressed any frustration. I took the lane and rode as fast as I could and as soon as the road was wide enough, I pulled over to let all the motorists pass. Not so bad, but I think I was kind of lucky. I imagine there are plenty of frustrated motorists out there with all the detours and extra traffic-jams associated with construction.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Heather July 28, 2010 at 8:55 am

    I took the Steel Bridge this morning at about 8:10AM and used the sidewalk. It was definitely a tight fit with pedestrian traffic and bikes going both ways. I was hauling a B.O.B Yak trailer with my dog in it too and felt bad for slowing up the bike traffic behind me. However everyone seemed to take it in stride and shared the space. Good job, Portlanders. (Sorry Steven for your sad experience!)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bob_M July 28, 2010 at 9:06 am

    #21
    I am sorry a rider crashed, but the crash was not caused by the detour. Your stopping was not something the rider behind could have anticipated, so your erratic riding contributed to the crash. The crashee crashed into you. Every rider is responsible for their own safety, and this rider was not prepared for erratic behavior on your part.

    Every one wants someone else to blame, and no one wants to take responsibility.

    I will bet a pint of beer that there is a good and justifiable reason this bridge route closed without warning. Things break. Get your “A” game on and deal with it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jason Skelton July 28, 2010 at 9:07 am

    The upper sidewalk of the Steel Bridge (on the north side of the bridge) is narrow but segregated from the car traffic and easy to use, but you do have to go slowly and watch for pedestrians. Since Broadway bridge closed, through Rose Quarter and over Steel seems the easier route to downtown.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Steve July 28, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I just took the top deck roadway of the Steel bridge yesterday headed east and, aside of the slightly uncomfortable merge with traffic from Naito (I was headed down Everett), it was fine. I found the motorists to be patient with me and the Max tracks to be a non event. Take the lane.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Steve July 28, 2010 at 9:17 am

    #22

    Have to disagree, the cyclist following gets 100% of the blame…failing to allow proper stopping distance (tailgating) but we’re way off topic…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • lda July 28, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I did take the Morrison bridge over. I would do this normally if not for the bumps on the bridges going down to the floating ramp (another conversation).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jeff July 28, 2010 at 9:35 am

    @Steve, definitely the cyclist following gets 100% of the blame. If you can’t avoid someone stopping, you are following too close.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Crash as result July 28, 2010 at 9:35 am

    #22

    Thanks. I didn’t say the crash was caused by the detour. I think I even said I should not have stopped. I’m not blaming anyone and didn’t even mention the other rider’s role, which #25 did.

    Look, I pointed this incident out because there was a chain of events here you might not have picked up on: bridge closes, no notice, etc.; hundreds of extra riders now have to go elsewhere. Pedestrian gets pissed, biker tries to educate her as to the closure, another biker close behind, a sudden stop. Neither of us would have been there had the bridge been open, that’s all.

    But, thanks, I’ll get my A game on because of your wise counsel.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • amphibike July 28, 2010 at 9:36 am

    What would be a little more fair would be to close all the bridges completely. I’ve got an inflatable kayak that I’ve been wanting to use. Yes, it weighs a lot–like 35 pounds–and I’d have to inflate and deflate it for each crossing. Alternatively, with some floaties for the bike I’d swim. (No rain lately.) When there are no bridges a bike is a lot more practical than a car.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • ryan July 28, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Yeah, this is a bit of a nightmare. Crossing my fingers nobody (including me) gets hurt on the upper deck.

    And I agree with others, the signage was insufficient.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Duncan July 28, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Crash-
    The crash was caused by the person behind you biking to fast. If you are on a sidewalk you are supposed to travel at a reasonable speed for a sidewalk- and like the MUPS be prepared for those erratic pedestrians. Sidewalks are not roads…. also even if it were is she hit you then she wasnt leaving enough stopping distance.

    As far as all these closures- whats next the Hawthorne Bridge? Wow really glad I am in Florence working for the summer. Yesterday’s bike ride consisted of 20 miles, one stop sign and maybe a half dozen cars. Saw deer, beaver, heron and the full rural compliment of live stock.

    With all these closures the remaining avenues are going to bottleneck. be careful!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Lascurettes July 28, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Did the person who stopped suddenly give a stop warning (hand signal). I doubt it. The crasher was not 100% to blame.

    I took the upper deck traffic lane heading west this morning. It slowed me down (as in the cars and MAX slowed me down). Taking the sidewalk wouldn’t have been much better as it was also congested with bikes and pedestrians. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to using the extra distance to get to the Burnside/Couch couplet. It may be an extra .5 mile for me, but it’s fewer traffic interruptions and much simpler and safer.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • j July 28, 2010 at 10:43 am

    does anyone know if we can request that PDOT (or otherwise) post a sign at the top of the ramp coming down from the east side (Rose Quarter) letting bikers know the lower deck is closed? i had a very minor crash incident with another biker this morning at the bottom of the ramp – i had noticed the gate across the river was closed, signaled, started to turn around, but she was coming down too quickly to avoid colliding. just want to save others from any more major incident that this lack-of-visible alert could cause.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Helen McConnell July 28, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Wish I’d read your post before I left this morning! I know the Broadway Bridge is closed, and was travelling from NE to NW, so took the Steel. No signage. Implemented with a zip up the Esplanade, carried my bike up to the Burnside Bridge (couldn’t do that with my heavy bike!), rode across the Burnside – on the sidewalk, against traffic. I’ll plan better tomorrow!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • anonymous July 28, 2010 at 11:10 am

    In an uncharacteristic move, I took the lane this morning to get to a meeting in town. (The narrow sidewalks were pretty crowded with bicyclists and pedestrians and, also uncharateristic for me, I was in a hurry.)

    I managed it, it was doable, but I wound up in front of some guy in a large pickup who was apparently in an even bigger hurry than I because he screamed at me to stay off the bridge and get out of his way.

    (Why do I always seem to be a amgnet for aggro drivers?)

    Like I said, it’s doable but not delightful.

    Perhaps the time has come for some enterprising person to start a bike ferry business across the Willamette…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Pojaco July 28, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I’ve been riding the upper deck of the steel bridge for the past few days both to and from work. If you’re comfortable riding in heavy traffic, there are definitely worse places than the Steel Bridge to ride. It isn’t terrible if you’re willing to take the lane.

    Going fast enough to not make motorists feel like you’re slowing them down helps as well. And of course, there is always the sidewalk.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Duncan July 28, 2010 at 11:28 am

    john-
    whether or not she used a hand signal doesnt matter. it is a sidewalk. what if she had a flat or popped a chain? you have to ride with the expectation of stopping or suffer the consequences (ie a cut nose). when on a narrow sidewalk you lose the ability to go around so you need to adapt your biking style for the circumstances. Also as I recall you are supposed to not endanger someone else? If you ram into the back of someone else that is a sure sign you were biking to fast for the conditions.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Duncan July 28, 2010 at 11:28 am

    you want to bike fast go play in traffic… least ways that is how I roll.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ellie July 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Detouring to the eastbound top deck of the Steel Bridge this morning was not my idea of a good time. There were bicycles and joggers going both ways across that narrow lane. If you have full panniers on both sides you’re certainly going to be taking up the whole lane, and joggers were quite angry that bicycles are on the sidewalk. Someone needs to stand at the end of the bridge with donuts and coffee to ease the tension.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • patrickz July 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    12:02 PM:
    that does it: I’ll go join the Springwater by way of Marine Drive. No bridges for me.(Or anyone else, as I see)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Elena July 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    An especially annoying thing is that there *is* a detour sign about the Broadway Bridge, but it just says “Detour, Broadway Bridge” with a picture of a bike and a pedestrian – which could easily lead someone to think (as I almost did) that the Broadway Bridge is now the detour for the Steel Bridge. Frustrating timing for this, but then I guess no one planned on the Steel Bridge malfunctioning.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Elena July 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    just re-read my post and realized it wasn’t very clear – the “Detour” sign I’m talking about is posted at the lower deck of the Steel Bridge, meaning if you arrive at the lower deck and find it closed and see the sign, you might think you’re supposed to use the Broadway Bridge instead.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Anne Hawley July 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Hey KD #14. As a person who doesn’t meet your (implied) standards of acceptable physical size, can I just say how very sick I am of fat bigotry? Not to mention transportation bigotry.

    I don’t love streetcars either, but a) not everyone can ride a bike; b) not everyone who needs public transit is fat; and c) not everyone who bicycles every single day is (or gets) thin. I’m living proof.

    So please check your privilege and reconsider comments that demean, hurt, and alienate at least one member of this community. Thanks.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Josh Berezin July 28, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Catherine Ciarlo reports that the lower deck has reopened:
    http://twitter.com/pdxciarlo/status/19765596790

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ethan July 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Fascinating that when car traffic gets detoured all the infrastructure and methods for mitigating/directing it are in the City’s playbook, but when it’s bikes (with a very real share of the commute) they get caught flatfooted.

    In the Portland of the future, an actual lane of car traffic might be coned off to make a alternate bikeway, making all mode-shares carry some of the weight. Something for the new BTA head to test his mettle on.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Eight July 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Well, I was caught by surprise this morning by that wonderful closure. I usually take the Broadway Bridge across town to ride to Beaverton. What next? I think in the meantime that they should reopen the Broadway Bridge to bike and walking traffic. To my understanding it is closed due to safety concerns of how narrow the path is. It is much safer than the top of the Steel Bridge in my opinion.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • toddistic July 28, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Am I the only person who actually enjoyed the change of route? In fact, I’ll probably avoid the lower steel bridge deck while they are working on Broadway and opt for new adventures using all of the bridges.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    At 12:54, PBOT announced the gates were open. Here’s their statement:

    he pedestrian gates on the lower deck of the Steel Bridge are now OPEN, making the lower deck of the bridge accessible again to both pedestrians and bicycles on both the east and the west ends of the bridge.
    The lower deck gates were closed and locked late Tuesday night due to an operational problem. All four of the automatic gates for the bridge lift were stopping before they were completely closed, leaving a gap of one foot or so. A structures engineer this morning did not find any obvious mechanical issues with the gates adjacent to the bridge lift structure. The problem was then referred to electricians, who determined a problem with the proximity sensors and completed necessary repairs.

    Transportation is aware of the poor condition of the three bridge warning/closure signs – one on the west end of the bridge, two on the east end. The signs have been so vandalized that they need to be replaced to be effective. Transportation is beginning the process to replace the signs.”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Duncan July 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    #46 great idea Ethan.

    I think this would be a great time for some one (hello BTA) to go to PBOT and start talking about alternatives.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • freeman July 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    first rule of wrenching – “grease, on every thread, every time.”

    first rule of riding – “Never Ride Faster Than You Are Willing to Crash.”

    accidents happen – blame, like responsibility needs cognition…be happy to be here to think about it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bob July 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I ride the southside sidewalk on the top of the Steel Bridge coming into town. If there are pedestrians, I slow way down to pass. If they turn sideways, I smile and say, “Thank you”. We share the sidewalk. Treat them the way you like cars to treat you when you are on the road. Slowing down adds a couple of dozen seconds to your ride. A commute is not a race.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tim w July 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I just rode across it an hour ago (3 pm on Wed)…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Johnson July 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Crash as result: The person who yelled “use the bike lane, bitch” was right. It’s not legal to use the sidewalk anywhere as bicycles are vehicles and driving on the sidewalk is illegal. Especially in city centers where it’s explicitly codified, which makes you a double threat. Quit proving that common sense isn’t common and do the right thing.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Johnson July 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    amphibike: Swimming in the Lower Willamette River? You’re either not from around here, or enjoy swimming in open sewers.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Johnson July 28, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I wonder if someone has actually called Portland Bureau of Transportation and reminded them that state law, federal highway standards and OSHA require road closure and detour signage…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • ME 2 July 28, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Paul #55, That person was wrong. Also you are wrong because the approach to the ped\bike crossing on the steel bridge requires the use of a sidewalk.

    In Portland, it is only illegal to ride on the sidewalk in the downtown corrider. See this post for more details:

    http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1680

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • are July 28, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    the lower deck of the steel bridge has always been pretty much my last choice among ways to cross the river, and the closing of the broadway bridge did not change that calculus. you have to take an MUP to get there, it is very narrow, and it dumps you on an MUP at the other end. and where can you go? davis? exactly two blocks north of burnside.

    seems the logical choice is to take the burnside bridge itself, but not by climbing stairs to the south sidewalk. simply take 12th to couch and across.

    but if you are arriving on foot, carrying your bike up the steps and getting onto the sidewalk, maybe you should just walk across.

    i would like to think PBoT may be beginning to realize that it was a mistake to push MUPs as bikeways. certainly they are not suitable to be ridden at anything like the speeds that are appropriate on roadways.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Duncan July 29, 2010 at 7:48 am

    are- I think that the lower bikeway is great for people like me (recreational bike riders who go downtown for fun) when I am crossing that way I am generally not in a huge hurry, so the slowdown doesnt bug me ad I enjoy the view. I can see where if you were commuting it would be a pain though- just think about all those rec bikers you dont have to pass on the bridge because we are peddling down below you!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • john July 29, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for the updates, i don’t know how i would know about anything w/out BikePortland!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Cat July 29, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I had a very nice conversation this last spring with an electrical technician master fixer guy about the gates and electronics on the lower deck of the Steel bridge. Sounded like it’s not unusual to have them shorting out and requiring some maintenance. I was walking across the sidewalk up top when I crossed paths with him, and I think he did have some detour “A board” signs he was putting out. Not sure why they didn’t go up this last time — maybe the Broadway bridge used them all up. :D

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Josh Gold July 30, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Used the roadway of the Steel Bridge crossing east to west 9 a.m. this morning once again. Going 15-20 on the uphill/flat portion and unfortunately pissed off a motorist who wanted to pass. Got the horn quite a bit and some yelling. I was not about to get squeezed though.

    All the crossings around this area have some limitations:
    1. Broadway – closed
    2. Steel upper sidewalk – narrow
    3. Steel lower deck – walkers, rec bikers, narrowish
    4. Steel upper road – motorists with tendency to road rage, not wide enough to allow motorists to pass easily

    Looking forward to Broadway re-opening.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Adam July 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I was 20 mins late to work because of this. Grrr! Glad to see it’s open again!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Veronica August 1, 2010 at 9:57 am

    At 9 am this morning the lower deck was not open. I was trying to cross from the east side to get to work downtown. I got to work (late, I might add) and googled “Steel Bridge closure,” but the most recent news I could find said that the lower deck would be open as of July 28. That was 4 days ago…I’m wondering if it’s been closed this whole time, or if this is a new closure. Anyone know the scoop?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

- Daily bike news since 2005 -
BikePortland.org is a production of
PedalTown Media Inc.
321 SW 4th Ave, Ste. 401
Portland, OR 97204

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Clemens Orth.
Subscribe to RSS feed


Original images and content owned by Pedaltown Media, Inc. - Not to be used without permission.