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Bryant Street Bridge to close for upgrades

Posted by on May 18th, 2011 at 11:22 am

Bryant St. Bike/ped bridge

Bryant Bridge over I-5.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Bryant Street Bridge over I-5 in North Portland will close for two days next week. The closure is good news; it means a project that we first reported on in August 2006 is finally moving forward.

The Piedmont Neighborhood has been working on this project since 2007. With a $50,000 grant from ODOT, neighborhood artists and volunteers will clean up and renovate the bridge in hopes of making a vital connection between communities more pleasant and popular.

Detail of paving and landscaping plan.

As it stands now, the Bryant Bridge is easy to miss. It’s often used as a trash dump, and its poor sight lines and cramped passages make it feel unsafe to some people.

Portland artist and Piedmont resident Brian Borrello is heading up the project. He says ODOT has finally given him permission to proceed and he’s not wasting any time getting started.

Sunday Parkways 09 -28

More plants and more room
are coming to the cramped
approach to the bridge (shown
here during Sunday Parkways).

On Monday and Tuesday (5/23-24) crews will replace rusty and broken chain-link fencing and move the fencing to make a wider passage. Borrello says new landscaping and paving improvements are also coming. Permeable pavers will be installed to give bridge users a greater turn radius and a wider pathway will make it easier for people biking and walking to share the path. In addition, a variety of new plants and ground cover will be planted to “add visual appeal” says Borrello.

Furthering the visual appeal will be a new stencil mural slated to go down in the cul-de-sac just before the bridge (on the east side). Recent neighborhood workshops have been held to get neighbor input on the design.

Borrello says later this spring and into summer, more treatments are coming. The 60-feet of “cage” will be removed, a handrail will be added at each end of the bridge (“to create less ‘claustrophobic’ bridge experience” says Borrello), and other design modifications will be added as permitted.

To see artist renderings of what the bridge might look like, see this story from June 2008.

It’s great to see this project finally move forward. In August 2010 it was on my list of five languishing projects. It took way too long; but at least it’s finally happening!

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Tommy Brooks May 18, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I lived mere blocks from this overpass for two years before I knew it was there. I finally discovered it by participating in Sunday Parkways and it absolutely transformed how I travel in that area now. Amazing how such small connections can open up such big worlds.

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  • Alain May 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    This is great! My wife and I rid this way to Fred Meyers all the time. Now if we could only (magically) cap the freeway to get rid of that dreadful noise!

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    • Lazlo May 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm

      It’s Fred Meyer, not Fred Meyers. (Sorry, pet peeve)

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      • A.K. May 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm

        Do they have ATM Machines at that Fred Meyers?

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  • Jack May 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I’d like to raise a motion to append an item to the next ballot. I propose that Multnomah county have the opportunity to vote for me (just me) getting a discount of my portion of taxes that are going towards this bridge. I fully intend to use it on a regular basis. I just don’t want to pay for it.

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    • Jack May 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      This message was sponsored by Americans for Long Life and Prosperity.

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  • David Amiton May 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    It’s worth mentioning that PBOT also did bicycle signage and pavement marking improvements along the Bryant corridor connecting to the Overpass back in 2009.

    Glad to see additional improvements are on the way!

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  • cyclist May 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I’m glad to see this project moving forward, thanks for reporting the news Jonathan.

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  • Alain May 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Fred Meyerz!

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  • gumby May 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Didn’t someone get robbed and shot a few years ago on this bridge?

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    • Paul Johnson May 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      That was the Failing Street Bridge, which has been a crime magnet all my life.

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  • Ted Buehler May 18, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Nice work folks, I look forward to seeing the finished product.

    Ted Buehler

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  • justin May 19, 2011 at 8:45 am

    it says volunteers are helping out. is it too late to get in on this? What’s the best contact if so?

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