Wednesday evening is the first meeting of the community advisory group (CAG) for the I-5 Bridge Replacement program — the new effort from Washington and Oregon departments of transportation to improve the crossing of the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver. It’s one of three advisory groups that will help the DOTs avoid the fate of the failed Columbia River Crossing project.
Getting to the bridge and crossing the river is currently terrible for bicycle users and this project could attract billions of federal dollars to make it better. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make it easy to bike between these two growing cities — both on the bridge itself and on street connections on both ends.
However, despite the importance of bicycling in this project and the project’s own contention that the CAG will, “develop recommendations to help ensure the program outcomes reflect community needs, issues and concerns,” the 32-member body does not include anyone who represents a cycling advocacy group.[Read more…]
While all the attention at today’s Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) meeting will be on the I-5 Rose Quarter Project, there’s another highway expansion mega-project that will take an important step forward.
The OTC is expected to give the Oregon Department of Transportation permission to enter into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the Washington Department of Transportation that will lay the groundwork for cooperation on a project to replace the I-5 bridges over the Columbia River. This is a resurrection of the ill-fated Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project that came crashing down in 2013 after the Washington legislature backed out of their funding commitments.
But since massive highway expansion projects are the air that keep state transportation agencies alive, after spending eight years and over $200 million the first time around, Oregon and Washington are eager to try again.[Read more…]
How worried is the Oregon Department of Transportation about an upcoming closure of the Interstate Bridge? They’ve announced it nearly one year in advance.[Read more…]
To help mark the 100th birthday of the Interstate Bridge a group of organizations is hosting an essay contest.
When we saw the theme — “My Interstate Bridge Adventure” — we figured people who bike across the bridge might be inspired to enter. That’s because on a bike it feels like an adventure every time I cross the narrow path just feet from rumbling motorized traffic.
Unfortunately we just heard about this and deadline for entries is tomorrow night (1/31).
Publisher’s note: We’re going to try something a bit different for our Ask BikePortland column. Instead of us bringing in an expert to answer the question directly in the post, we’re going to see if you — our fantastic and smart readers — can help with the answer. Please share your insights and tips in the comments. Thanks! – Jonathan
Today’s question came to us via email from Greg S.:
Repairs to the pedestrian gate on the bridge between west Vancouver and north Portland will close its western (southbound) sidewalk from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Freeway lanes and the opposite sidewalk will be unaffected.
The Interstate 5 bridge’s sidewalks double as bike routes. Detours from one to the other are time-consuming because of the way the ramps are built.
“The sidewalk will be closed to make way for equipment needed for installation of a new traffic gate across the southbound lanes,” the Oregon Department of Transportation said in its news release. “The new gate replaces a gate damaged in a June crash on the bridge.”
only ones affected.
If you’re crossing the Columbia River during the wee hours tonight by bike or foot, you’ll need to take the eastern (northbound) sidewalk.
A Wednesday morning truck collision on the Interstate 5 bridge between Vancouver and Portland damaged electrical equipment and the southbound lift span sidewalk gate, according to Vancouver transportation planner Patrick Sweeney, relaying information from the Oregon Department of Transportation. Repairs will close the western (southbound) sidewalk from 11 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday.
The bridge’s sidewalks double as bike routes. Detours from one to the other are time-consuming because of the way the ramps are built.