PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Interstate 84 near the Lloyd District reopened Monday after a weekend-long closure as work continues on the new Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge.
The $13.7 million project crosses I-84, connecting the Lloyd District with Portland’s Central East Side. The Portland Bureau of Transportation said the bridge is only for pedestrians and bikes, with pedestrian plazas on either side.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer said he was “pleased” when he found out the Sullivan’s Gulch crossing would bear his name “because I’ve done a lot of work in both those areas — obviously cycling and the Lloyd District. It kind of ties the pieces together and it’s a great honor.”
Known for his bowtie and bicycle lapel pin, Blumenauer has served Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District since 1996. A former Portland and Multnomah County commissioner, Blumenauer chairs the Congressional Bike Caucus and recently voted for federal funds to extend MAX light rail into Hillsboro.
The naming of the bridge is Blumenauer’s validation of his priority to get more people out of cars to burn calories instead of fossil fuels.
“The city is the number-one bike-friendly city in the country, has the highest percentage of people who use bicycles regularly and they’re laying the foundation to do a lot more,” he said.
Construction of the bridge began in 2019. It’s being paid for with Convention Center Urban Renewal funds and city transportation charges.
The bridge will connect different parts of the city and serve as a lasting legacy for Blumenauer.
“I think it’s symbolic of what we’re doing in this community. I’m proud to have played a part in it and I’m still working on those things in Washington, D.C. right now,” Blumenauer said.
Blumenauer was on the shortlist to be President Biden’s transportation secretary — a position that ultimately went to Pete Buttigieg.
The Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge is expected to open in the summer of 2022.