PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — D’oh! One of the most famous (and annoying, depending on your perspective) cartoon neighbors is now the namesake for Portland’s newest pedestrian bridge.
That’s right, the recently completed bridge over I-405 in Northwest Portland has been dubbed the Ned Flanders Crossing — named after the ever-optimistic and neighborly character from The Simpsons series. The name and a coinciding plaque were unveiled by Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, along with Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon and Travel Portland CEO Jeff Miller on Thursday morning.
Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, is a Portland native and Lincoln High School graduate. Despite his wild success, there was nothing in the city to officially honor the show and all of Groening’s iconic characters.
According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation, naming the bridge after Ned Flanders “not only honors the cultural phenomenon that is The Simpsons, but also the creative spirit that has animated Portlanders for so long and will continue to do so long into the future.”
“It’s a wonderful day for our city,” Hardesty said. “Naming this new bridge after Ned Flanders shows that Portland can build great things and have fun too. Thank you to Matt Groening and his team for embracing this idea.”
Springfield, Oregon has had a longtime connection with The Simpsons as well, being the “real” Springfield from the show. Groening designed a 15-by-30-foot mural back in 2014, which became a site for many laughs and family photos throughout the years since.
“Springfield, Oregon appreciates our partnership with Matt Groening and his incredible crew and our long-term connection with The Simpsons,” Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon said. “The Official Simpsons Mural in Downtown Springfield has brought our community years of laughter, thousands of family photos, and a host of visitors from across the globe. We hope the Ned Flanders Crossing brings a smile to the face of your wonderful neighbors and becomes a positive connection for our two cities.”
Be sure to say “hi-diddly-ho!” to all the neighborinos you see while walking or biking across the new bridge!