PORTLAND, Ore.— People biking, walking and riding transit in the area have continued to advocate for a replacement overcrossing bridge. Safety concerns have been observed, including people walking or biking through the crossings while warning lights and bells are activated, or even climbing over stopped freight trains.
TriMet, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) have engaged in multiple efforts to address safety concerns, including signal timing adjustments and enhanced crossing treatments (switchback fencing at SE 8th Avenue, manual swing gates at SE 11th Avenue, curb at SE 12th Avenue). In spring 2019, train switches within UPRR’s Brooklyn Yard were improved to help minimize the time that trains are stopped in the crossings.
The bridge will include both stairs and elevators. Elevators will maximize transparency, and will be large enough to accommodate bicycles with trailers or a child’s tag-along attachment. Elevators will have two entrances that allow bicyclists to pass through the elevator without having to turn around.
A 155 foot boom crane was used to lift the tower up and setting it in place.