lafayette street bridge

Two week Rhine-Lafayette Overpass closure begins today – UPDATED

Avatar by on December 17th, 2018 at 9:11 am

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

UPDATE, 1/14/19: This closure has been extended through February 1st. Please see the latest details on TriMet’s website.

If you’re one of the many people who rely on the carfree overpass that connects the neighborhoods of Brooklyn to Creston-Kenilworth, a repair project might impact your trips.
[Read more…]

Closures of Rhine-Lafayette overpass begin November 26th

Avatar by on November 9th, 2018 at 9:35 am

UPDATE: The closure of the Rhine-Lafayette Pedestrian Overpass in southeast Portland that had been planned for Monday, Nov. 19 through Wednesday, Nov. 21, has been postponed. The elevator improvement project will now begin Monday, Nov. 26, with elevators closing Monday, Dec. 17 through Friday, Jan. 4. Full closures of the overpass will be necessary at times. We will install HVAC equipment inside the elevator towers to regulate the temperature and humidity year-round. We also will be installing canopies over both elevator towers and adding drainage at the base of the towers to prevent rain from getting into the elevator mechanisms. More.

Be advised that TriMet is doing work on the Rhine-Lafayette bridge elevators that will close it to bicycle users for three days this month and then again for two weeks in December. Check the official statement below for more info:

Three-day closure begins Monday, Nov. 19 with intermittent closures of elevators through Jan. 4

The Rhine-Lafayette Pedestrian Overpass in southeast Portland will close Monday, Nov. 19 through Wednesday, Nov. 21, as TriMet makes improvements to increase the reliability of the bridge’s elevators. The pedestrian overpass spans railroad tracks in the Brooklyn neighborhood, and connects SE Lafayette Street with SE Rhine Street. It provides connections to TriMet’s MAX Orange Line at the SE 17th Ave & Rhine St Station as well as to the Line 17-Holgate/Broadway, Line 70-12th/NE 33rd Ave and Line 291-Orange Night Bus. We will install HVAC equipment inside the elevator towers to regulate the temperature and humidity year-round. We also will be installing canopies over both elevator towers and adding drainage at the base of the towers to prevent rain from getting into the elevator mechanisms.

Construction closure schedule
The improvements will take about seven weeks and require the full closure of the Rhine-Lafayette overpass at times. The first full closure of the bridge comes at the beginning of the Thanksgiving holiday week.

Full closure of the pedestrian overpass:
– Monday, Nov. 19 – Wednesday, Nov. 21

Construction continues with no impact to users:
– Monday, Nov. 26 – Friday, Dec. 14

Elevators closed and intermittent closures of the overpass possible:
– Monday, Dec. 17 – Friday, Jan. 4

Also, SE Rhine Street east of SE 18th Avenue and SE Lafayette Street west of SE 20th Avenue will be closed Monday, Nov. 19 through Friday, Jan. 4.

Plan extra time for detour
During the closures, a detour will guide pedestrians and cyclists north to SE Powell Boulevard to cross under the railroad tracks. Those who use the Rhine-Lafayette overpass should plan an extra 10 to 15 minutes to navigate the detour between both sides of the bridge.

From the east side of the bridge, proceed north on SE 20th Avenue about 0.2 mile, then go west on SE Powell Boulevard another 0.2 mile. Cross SE Powell Boulevard Frontage Road and proceed south about 0.15 mile to SE Rhine Street.

From the west side of the bridge, proceed north on SE 17th Avenue about 0.15 mile and cross SE Powell Boulevard Frontage Road to SE Powell Boulevard. Go east on SE Powell Boulevard for another 0.2 mile and turn south on SE 20th Avenue for 0.2 mile to reach SE Lafayette Street.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

Updates: Portion of Esplanade path closes, Lafayette Bridge elevator back online (for now)

Avatar by on March 27th, 2017 at 9:16 am

Esplanade closes, bridge opens (for now).

There have been updates to two stories we’ve been following over the weekend.

After over 45 days of closure TriMet has found a “temporary fix” for the Lafayette Bridge elevator in the Brooklyn neighborhood. The bridge closed in February due to an issue with moisture in the system that caused the braking mechanism to fail. Last week TriMet said they still hadn’t figured out a solution. On Friday evening we finally heard from them that the elevator is working once again.

Here’s TriMet’s statement:
[Read more…]

45 days later, TriMet still has no estimate for re-opening of Lafayette Street bridge elevator

Avatar by on March 22nd, 2017 at 5:09 pm

(Photo via @marneduke on Twitter)

An elevator on a bridge needed for cycling over light rail and railroad lines in southeast Portland has been closed for nearly seven weeks now. And TriMet, the owner of the facility, still isn’t sure when it will re-open.

On February 20th we reported that the elevator at the Rhine-Lafayette Bridge was broken. TriMet said moisture had gotten into the elevator shaft, causing the brakes the fail.

After posting our story we heard from several readers who were frustrated about losing such an important connection. As you can see in the map below, the railyard splits two neighborhoods and there are very few ways to get across it. While there are stairs with a wheel-gutter, the gutter is hard to use and for many people there are too many stairs to manage carrying their bike safely.

“This bridge being out is a significant impediment for those of us who use it to head North-South — makes my quick 15 minute ride from Sellwood to inner Clinton area twice as long and even longer if I’m headed further north,” wrote reader Carrie. “This whole thing is ridiculous. They tore down the old bridge because, well it was sketchy, but because it wasn’t ADA compliant. Then they build this new one, can’t afford(?) to build one at Harold or Reedway, and yet can’t maintain it and so now anyone who can’t do stairs, or can’t carry their bike up/down stairs (and it’s kind of scary to come down the stairs in the dark rain shouldering your bike) are screwed — there’s no where nearby to get from point a to point b.”
[Read more…]

TriMet’s Lafayette Bridge elevator in Brooklyn neighborhood closed for repairs

Avatar by on February 20th, 2017 at 5:06 pm

Lafayette Street Bridge-6.jpg

The bridge is a vital biking and walking link in southeast Portland’s Brooklyn neighborhood.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The elevator of the carfree Rhine-Lafayette Bridge in southeast Portland is out of order and TriMet says they aren’t sure when it will be back online.
[Read more…]

One year in, how’s the Lafayette Street bridge elevator treating you?

Avatar by on November 7th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Lafayette Street Bridge-6.jpg

The bridge has been in operation for just over a year now.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

I used the Lafayette Street Bridge for the first time last week. And I liked it.

The bridge was completed by TriMet in 2015 as part of the Orange Line MAX project and creates a connection over railroad tracks in the Brooklyn neighborhood between SE Lafayette and Rhine streets. It’s the only crossing of the tracks between Holgate and Powell (major arterials).
[Read more…]