The long-awaited carfree connection between the Lloyd and Central Eastside districts is finally all set to open.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation announced today that the big date is July 31st and they’ve got a bevy of biking festivities planned to mark the occasion.:
The day will include a variety of community-led bike rides. New plazas on the north and south sides of the bridge, as well as nearby destinations in the Lloyd District and Central Eastside, will have pop-up block parties with a variety of local vendors and organizations. The Central Eastside Industrial Council and Go Lloyd, along with The Street Trust and Friends of the Green Loop, are organizing local groups that may want to take part in street fairs and group bike rides the day of the celebration. There will also be a formal program where local leaders, including Congressman Blumenauer and Portland Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty will speak.
First known as the Sullivan’s Crossing Bridge, PBOT began working on this project in earnest in late 2016. They renamed the bridge in honor of Congressman (and former PBOT commissioner) Earl Blumenauer in 2019 and the project broke ground a few months later.
The bridge is considered a lynchpin in the city’s bicycle network that will greatly improve the value and convenience of existing bike routes on 7th Avenue. It also marks the completion of a significant piece of the city’s vision for a “Green Loop” around the central city.
Riding conditions on the bridge will be similar to the Ned Flanders Crossing bridge, another carfree span that opened one year ago. The 24-foot width will be split between two, separated lanes of 10 and 14 feet. Walkers will be on the outside and a two-way bikeway will run in the middle.
A big selling point of the new bridge was that it is likely to survive a major earthquake and will open to emergency vehicles if and when one strikes.
For more information about the opening day festivities and the bridge itself, check out PBOT’s website.