TriMet has begun construction of new carfree Gideon Overcrossing

Latest rendering of the bridge. View is looking south from 14th. Koerner Camera Systems, whose owner opposed the project, is in upper left.

TriMet shared an update on their Gideon Overcrossing project at a joint meeting of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees last night.

The $10.5 million project officially broke ground on Monday.

A TriMet staffer shared images of the nearly-final design. She said they intentionally made it visible from nearby crossings (if people don’t see it they won’t use it) and tried to make it “iconic” as requested by neighborhood residents.

The bridge will have an elevator similar to the one on the nearby Rhine-Lafayette overpass (which gets rave reviews from bicycle users). It will also have stairs with a wheel gutter for when the elevator isn’t working. TriMet said they considered a rideable ramp but given the height/overhead clearance requirements needed for both a MAX light rail and freight railroad line, along with ADA slope requirements, the ramp would have been too long, expensive, and cumbersome to fit in the project.

Looking northeast toward Gideon Street from SE 13th.

Looking northwest from SE 17th/Powell.


The stairs will have a wheel gutter to make walking your bike up them easier. TriMet said they studied existing gutters and sought advice from afar to come up with their design. The trick was to make the gutter easy to use while not creating a tripping hazard. Below is a slide from last night’s meeting that shows how the Gideon crossing gutter compares to the existing Rhine-Lafayette crossing:

(Rhine-Lafayette gutter on the left, Gideon on the right)

As you recall, the controversy around this project had to do with how it landed on the 14th Avenue side. Several businesses opposed the project on grounds that it would impede their truck loading access and create safety hazards. In the end, TriMet decided to extend the driveway of Koerner Camera Systems so they could maintain access to their loading dock. TriMet’s design also creates a public plaza on the 14th Avenue side.

The bridge will be built by TriMet, but owned and operated by City of Portland Bureau of Transportation. It’s expected to be completed and open for use by July of next year.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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