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Earl Blumenauer Bridge will break ground next week

Posted by on October 31st, 2019 at 5:22 pm

One week from today (11/7) the Portland Bureau of Transportation will break ground on a $13.7 million bridge over I-84. Dubbed the Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge (formerly known as the Sullivan’s Crossing Bridge), the project will connect the central eastside to the Lloyd via 7th Avenue.

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Blumenauer riding in Washington County in 2012.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This bridge will be an essential link in our transportation network and will vastly improve safety and convenience over existing crossings at 12th Avenue and the Martin Luther King Jr/Grand Ave couplet. It lands in the Lloyd at 7th Avenue which is the start of PBOT’s Lloyd-to-Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway project.

Congressman Blumenauer is a former City of Portland Commissioner who was in charge of PBOT in the 1990s. He’s credited with sparking Portland’s bike-friendly road engineering and planning and work done under his watch laid the groundwork for our big city cycling dominance that inspired many other places around the country.

Blumenauer is a frequent bicycle rider and regularly commutes in Washington D.C. as well as here in Portland whenever he gets the chance. I have a hunch he’ll be one of the first people to ride across this new bridge when it’s done. PBOT says bridge construction should be completed by the end of next year.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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chris
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chris

Great news. What’s the estimated construction time?

Andrew N
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Andrew N

Awesome! Kudos to Earl but I’ll be referring to it as “Nico’s Bridge” because I’ll finally be able to get my kid to inner SE from our home more safely via bicycle. It will also greatly reinforce the importance of NE 7th as a Major City Bikeway from the bridge north to Sumner – which should likewise render irrelevant whatever ends up happening with PBOT’s ongoing comedy show a few blocks over on 9th.

Gary Sansom
Guest

Great news!! I want to be the first to Wheelie al the way across!

Brian C
Guest
Brian C

Heres to Earl’s Bridge!

q
Guest
q

If the bridge is a success, they could rename that area the Earl District.

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

Great bridge, crappy name. Why this guy is such a hero to Oregon I’ll never know.

Wylie
Guest
Wylie

The 3d rendering has people enjoying the “view” of the freeway but my time with the Gibb Street Bridge tells me that the freeway sensory experience is by far the worst part of these crossings

Shimran George
Guest
Shimran George

Awesome news! And named after a deserving individual!

I can’t wait until this connection comes through, it will make travel from SE Portland to NE and N. Portland so much nicer!

I truly believe that giving pedestrian and bike access can do a lot to help revitalize a neighborhood. Hopefully this could be a great start in remaking the Lloyd from an auto-centric urban renewal area full of parking lots and have more bike/pedestrian destinations.

David Hampsten
Guest

Great, yet another piece of new infrastructure named for a live white male, an incumbent politician running for election no less. And yet the city requires that city streets be named (or renamed) only for dead American people only and rightly prefers minorities who have had real impacts on society.

Why not name it as a memorial for one of the many unfortunate bicyclists who have died on Portland’s streets?

Kittens
Subscriber
Kittens

Cool bridge. Though I think we should stop naming infrastructure after living people. Somehow it diminishes the honor.

idlebytes
Guest
idlebytes

What’s their plan for getting people heading north across 7th? It seems like a regular crosswalk could be sketchy with how cars fly down the hill to 7th. I can imagine it working like the ones on 122nd where the near side stops and the other lanes just keep on going.

Gregg
Guest

While I type this, PBOT is installing actual buffers between the cycletrack and the parking lane on Rosa Parks (THANKS PBOT!) Rosa Parks is now my favorite street in town.

I’m looking forward to riding with kids from Rosa Parks via a Safest-Greenway-In-Town to this new bridge. What will that look like? 7th? 9th? Nothing?

maxD
Guest
maxD

It is very exciting to be getting this much needed piece of infrastructure. IMO, the bridge is super ugly, but oh well. The bigger issue is the lack of connections. Why isn’t there a robust greenway south of this bridge with safe, signalized crossings (bikes and peds could use 12th/Grand while this is under construction)? Why isn’t the Sullivan’s Gulch connection being constructed at least from the Esplanade to 12th? How will bike users connect to this on the 9th ave greenway since there is a massive gap at Irving Park. We really need this bridge, but haivng a bridge is not going to be of much use with the half-assed connections to and from it.

For context, I have been commuting via bike between North Portland and the CEID since 2008. This SHOULD fix my commute, but that now seems unlikely. The gap in bike lanes on Skidmore between Michigan and 7th/9th will not be fixed. The greenway south will not be complete. The route through the CEID remains an unsafe mess. I am likely to continue to use the sidewalk on MLK heading north, or take the lane on MLK heading south to cross *$ since the rest of the routes/connections are so sub-par

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

This will be a big improvement over the 12th crossing many of us use today, but there are still connection issues to the north and south that will eventually need be resolved before 7th becomes a truly great bike route.

Phil Richman
Subscriber

Will I be allowed to ride my new e-scooter across it?

Matt
Guest
Matt

What I love about the limited pictures is how it feels so oriented toward bikeability. No weird ramps up to a caged-in chainlink sidewalk with ramps/steps/elevators to get back down. This is based on luck, as the highway is sunken, but I can still admire that part. Just ride across…..

janowa
Subscriber
janowa

PBOT’s site says the location changed to NE 7th and Flanders.