Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 28th, 2007 at 9:33 am
Last time I looked (this weekend), construction on the new bridge is moving right along. According to a press release from Multnomah County, the new arch span will be installed on Friday, December 7th.
Sauvie Island is becoming an increasingly popular destination for Portland cyclists. At just about 10 flat miles north of downtown, the scenic roads are a magnet for all types of cyclists; from triathletes in training, to biking berry pickers and cyclocross racers.
Unfortunately, many of the islands two-wheeled visitors actually show up on four. On any given summer weekend, you’ll find the main parking lot near the general store packed with people unloading bikes from their car trunks, pickup-truck beds and roof-racks.
Many people choose to drive out to the island likely because of the combination of two sketchy bridge crossings (the Sauvie and the dreaded St. Johns) and a bike lane on Highway 30 that is often filled with debris and mere feet from high speed cars and trucks.
That’s why any opportunity — such as a new bridge — to improve bike access to Sauvie Island is important to keep tabs on.
On that note, I asked Multnomah County’s new bike and pedestrian planner Mike Lynch if the new bridge would be friendlier to bike traffic than the current one — which is narrow and has no shoulder. Along with an engineering sketch of the new cross section (below), he sent me this response:
“Thank you for your interest in the Sauvie Island Bridge. As you know, the old bridge has two 13’ vehicle lanes to be shared with bikes, and two three and a half foot sidewalks.
The new bridge will have two 12’ vehicle lanes, two 6’ shoulders for bikes, and two 6’ sidewalks on it. This should greatly improve access to the island for Bikes / Pedestrians.”
And here’s the drawing:
If you’ve never ridden out to Sauvie Island, hopefully this new, safer bridge will encourage you to do so.