Details on traffic impacts of two-month Broadway Bridge closure

Posted by on June 23rd, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Bike traffic on Broadway-22

Bike traffic going onto Broadway Bridge.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Please note the PBOT traffic advisory below regarding an upcoming closure of the Broadway Bridge. The bridge will be completely closed to motorized traffic for two months starting July 6th, but it will remain open to biking and walking traffic. The closure is to facilitate streetcar construction.

Here’s a word from streetcar project spokesperson Julie Gustafson about how bike traffic will be impacted:

The south sidewalk will remain open to maintain bicycle and pedestrian connectivity. The only time it will be “closed” is when they do a bridge lift. These will be short duration closures similar to a normal bridge lift. There will be signing and defined paths for the bikes and peds to follow on both sides of the bridge. The Larrabee (eastern) side will have an additional ramp for bi-directional bike approach.

Questions about the bike detour/signing should be directed to Julie Gustafson with Shiels Obletz Johnsen at (503) 242-0084 or

And here’s the official traffic advisory from PBOT:

June 23, 2010

Dan Anderson

Broadway Bridge will close July 6 to motorized vehicles for two months

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Broadway Bridge in central Portland is scheduled to be closed from July 6 to Sept. 3 to all motorized vehicles due to streetcar construction. The south sidewalk of the bridge will remain open to bicyclists and pedestrians.

NE Broadway will be closed west of NE Larrabee and NW Broadway will be closed to through traffic north of NW Hoyt. The NW Lovejoy Street ramp at the bridge will be closed to all traffic east of NW Ninth Ave. Access to Union Station will be maintained.

The traveling public should expect traffic delays on Broadway, Weidler and Lovejoy and use detours. Westbound motorized traffic will be detoured to the Burnside and Steel bridges and eastbound traffic will be detoured to the I-405 Fremont Bridge.

Construction schedules are subject to change. More information about alternate bicycle and pedestrian routes will be released prior to the closure. The Portland Bureau of Transportation appreciates travelers’ patience during what may be one of the busiest construction seasons in Oregon history.

For more information on streetcar construction, please contact Kay Dannen at 503-478-6404 or or visit More information on the closure will be forthcoming.

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arnoldJoeBorgbikejoeljv Recent comment authors
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This Also effects Portland Bridge Peddle.
No Broadway this year.

matt picio

Jonathan, perhaps you should update the story to say “remain partly open” to reflect the reduced access for bikes and peds. Confining bicycles and pedestrians to travel 2-way on only the south sidewalk is going to be difficult for commuters, especially those from NoPo/NE trying to get to Lovejoy – they’ll need to cross streetcar tracks getting to the temporary ramp on the east side, and cross 2 crosswalks at the west end.

matt picio

Ah, I see – Lovejoy ramp not a factor since it’s totally closed.


this is going to be a cluster**** of epic proportions, I wonder who actually wrote the traffic control plan for this, the streetcar people???

Andrew Kreps
Andrew Kreps

I was around the last time they did this, to replace the steel grating with the polycarbonate-super-mega-cool lift spans. A minor inconvenience, since I lived in NE and commuted to 15th and NW Marshall, but I found the Steel to be an appropriate detour. I used to hoof it over the span on the road and drop right in on Glisan, which was a great, high-speed route. Of course that was back when there were two lanes of car traffic and no tracks crossing Glisan at the bottom of the ramp.

The nice thing here is that with more traffic being diverted to the other bridges, traffic should routinely snarl and slow to a crawl, making it much safer for me to proceed on two wheels.


I predict some serious issues around the commute hours with two way cycle and and pedestrian traffic on the south side of the Broadway Bridge. Perhaps there could be informal signage to recommend that bikes travel only westbound in the AM and eastbound in the PM…you know to avoid too much salmoning.

But the way I see it it won’t be too hard to cross over Broadway before and after the bridge (as there will be no motorized traffic). The largest hazard will be inattentive walkers and those playing “Silly Commuter Racing”. And the Steel really is not too far out of the way.

On a side note, I can see why they would want to close down the north side ped/bike way during construction – I have seen some people riding way too close/fast to workers on the path while they are inspecting and measuring the bridge. I think it makes sense to let them focus on the task of doing their job without having to worry about fast moving vehicles.


well, with any luck, 2-way traffic forced to share one side of the broadway might serve to teach the average broadway commuter cyclist a thing or two about patience and courtesy to their fellow path users, or foot or awheel.


I will use this as a good excuse to break up my commuting pattern and explore some of the other routes and bridges.

May continue returning home on Broadway though. We’ll see.


I’ve been dreading this for a while. I use the Broadway to fly into town in the mornings on my bike. It will take a couple of extra minutes to either take the Steel or see how the south side Broadway route goes. What I really can’t wait to see are all the drivers waiting in traffic as I fly by. Toodle loo!


There has been an update posted here:

“The bridge will be closed to bicycles and pedestrians starting July 19.”

Here is the full text from the website:

July 6, 2010 – September 3, 2010 – FULL BRIDGE CLOSURE

No traffic will be permitted on the bridge during this time.
The bridge will be closed to bicycles and pedestrians starting July 19. The south sidewalk will be open for both eastbound and westbound travel from July 6 – 18.
Lovejoy ramp will be closed east of 9th.
NW Broadway will be closed to thru vehicles north of Hoyt, and to all vehicles north of Irving – access to Union Station will remain open.
N Broadway will be closed west of Larrabee.
Increased work hours anticipated.


Uhhhh that last update (posted this morning) has already changed… It now mentions nothing about bikes/peds (allowed/disallowed) during that period…