Tilikum Crossing, Portland OR

May 18, 2014

Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People is a bridge under construction across the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.

bridge Tilikum Crossing

Although it is being built as part of TriMet’s MAX Orange Line light rail line, the bridge will carry MAX Light Rail, the Portland Streetcar, buses, bicycles, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles. Private cars and trucks will not be permitted on the bridge. The crossing is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015 and will be the first new bridge built across the Willamette River since 1973.

Tilikum is a Chinook word meaning people, tribe, or family, and the name is intended to honor the Multnomah, Cascade, Clackamas, and other Chinookan peoples who lived in the area as long as 14,000 years ago.

City planners initially focused on three designs: cable-stayed, wave-frame girder, and through arch, but the design committee eventually recommended a hybrid suspension/cable-stayed design.  Construction of the bridge began in June 2011, with a slow/no wake zone put in place to ensure the safety of river users and bridge construction workers. Beginning in July 2011, an exclusion area around the in-water bridge construction site went into effect. Construction of the bridge itself is scheduled for completion in 2014, followed by several months of work to install tracks and other infrastructure across the bridge, with opening for public use in 2015.

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