ODOT project means five nights of carfree St. Johns Bridge for walkers, bikers

Posted by on January 26th, 2022 at 3:10 pm

Moonset from the St. Johns Bridge on April 8th, 2020.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Starting Monday night next week, the Oregon Department of Transportation will begin a routine maintenance and inspection project on the St. Johns Bridge.

The work will require ODOT to close the bridge to car and truck drivers for five nights between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am. According to a statement this week, ODOT will keep the bridge open for bicycling and walking.

That means it’ll be possible to bike and walk on this magnificent bridge in a carfree environment. If you’re a night owl, you might want to make plans to enjoy this rare opportunity.


We initially thought it would be fun to plan a get together on one of the nights, but I’ve decided against it. An ODOT spokesperson reached out to us after some social media posts we shared on Monday. They said there will be equipment on the bridge and that work crews will be present to flag any riders or walkers through. I don’t think it’s cool to add to the workers’ stress just for a little fun, so we’ll have to do this some other time.

I do plan on heading out there one night to check it out. Yes it will likely be very cold, but I love this bridge and cannot resist the chance to ride across it without the usual stress, noise, and toxic emissions from cars and trucks.

See you out there!

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Perhaps one day we’ll get a safe, protected way to bike across the bridge during daylight hours. There’s something about the sharrows that makes drivers lose their minds. Especially now, they are madder than ever that they have to share a lane, even on quiet Sunday mornings. That the bridge doesn’t have some kind of MUP connecting to the Ridge Trail and 30 is such a missed opportunity for Portland.




TriMet mastered the fine art of the Missed Opportunity, but ODOT has proven itself an apt student.



Allan Rudwick

I still can’t believe we don’t have a 3-lane vehicle configuration at the ends and a 2-lane configuration in the middle. This could be done without reducing vehicle throughput AT ALL!

We could have narrow bike lanes at the ends and nice wide ones in the middle of the bridge.