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.
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.
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!