Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 20th, 2017 at 5:06 pm
The elevator of the carfree Rhine-Lafayette Bridge in southeast Portland is out of order and TriMet says they aren’t sure when it will be back online.
This is unfortunate news. A similar facility that services the South Waterfront — the Gibbs Street Bridge (maintained by City of Portland) — has been notoriously unreliable. We hoped the Lafayette Bridge would have a better record. Both bridges lack ramps and require people with bicycles or mobility devices to carry their vehicles up several flights of stairs when the elevator is closed.
We got our first reader tip that the Lafayette Bridge was closed on February 10th. In response to our questions, TriMet said the closure was necessary because too much moisture has gotten into the elevator shaft and the brakes can’t get a secure grip when wet (a problem bicycle riders know all too well).
TriMet Chief Public Information Officer Mary Fetsch said the agency is looking for a short-term and long-term fix to the problem. They do not have an estimated time for the repairs to be completed. Stay tuned. If you typically ride this bridge, please keep us posted on its status.
In the meantime, if you don’t want to hassle with the stairs, a commenter has shared the following detour map (which I added to just a bit):