At long last, the Blumenauer Bridge will be installed Saturday night –


View from live camera as of 9:33 am Friday morning.

We’ve waited and waited and waited, and now the big day is finally here.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is all set to slide the span of the Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge across Sullivan’s Gulch and connect what is sure to become one of the most important bikeways in Portland.

If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the action, PBOT says the big move will happen overnight between Saturday and Sunday. A massive crane to help lift and place the 475-long, 24-foot wide span will be assembled in the middle of I-84 on Saturday. If you can’t make it to the site and don’t feel like waiting around for the historic moment, PBOT has set up a live camera on the southern landing for your viewing pleasure.

A carfree crossing of I-84 at 7th Avenue has been a dream for many years. In 2015 we said it was one of the key bikeways that would help revitalize the Lloyd. A former staffer of The Street Trust once described it as “An MLK for people walking and biking,” a reference to nearby Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, which, along with Grand, forms a major arterial couplet that is so car-centric most bike riders won’t go near it. The new bridge will solidify the value of 7th Avenue in the cycling network because it will now stretch about four miles from SE Division to the Alberta District. PBOT has plans to improve the bike lane on 7th south of I-84 and there’s already a plan in progress to make it better for bikes north of I-84.

It’s also worth noting that this bridge will be an emergency access route for first responders in the event of an emergency.

Please be aware that the closure of I-84 (which will be in place from Friday night to early Monday morning) might create strange and crowded traffic conditions on nearby streets.

If all goes according to plan, PBOT says we’ll be riding on this thing by summer of next year.

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