PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Those walking or biking in Southwest Portland will have a new way of connecting through the area due to a recently completed bridge.
According to Portland Parks & Recreation, the Red Electric Bridge is now completed and ready for use. It’s located between Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and Southwest Capitol Highway and is part of the Red Electric Trail.
The bridge was developed, designed and constructed by the Portland Bureau of Transportation on behalf of PP&R and is a “critical” segment of the trail system, added the agency.
“We are grateful to our partners at PBOT for their teamwork on this project, and to SW Trails for their advocacy for a better trail system,” says Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio. “This bridge is an important step in providing safer biking and walking recreational opportunities for families in Southwest Portland. When we come together as a city, great things happen for our community.”
The project also includes new lighting, updated guardrails along Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and ADA sidewalk curb ramps. Other features people will find are pedestrian and bicycle crosswalk striping, along with improved grading and drainage.
“This beautiful bridge will create safer connections for our neighbors in Southwest Portland,” said Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “As we emerge and recover from the pandemic, it is exciting to see a new safe space open through such a gorgeous nature area. I’m proud of the work done by the staff at PBOT to design and construct another car-free bridge as we continue to build a more climate-resilient Portland.”
Walkers and bikers can also enjoy new trees and landscaping in and around the new bridge.
The trail connects the existing Fanno Creek Trail west of Alpenrose Dairy to the Willamette Greenway Trail in the South Waterfront, noted the announcement. According to PP&R, it follows the old Red Electric train line which was open from 1914 to 1929.
The project is part of Portland’s 220 miles of regional trails.
“This new bike and pedestrian bridge is a dream come true for the many SW Trails volunteers who have been working together with the City for nearly 25 years to make this new bridge become a reality,” said Doug Rogers, president of SW Trails, a community group that promotes wellness and supports safe walking and biking in southwest Portland. “This will be a safe, family-friendly, active transportation route for the residents of our community. This is just the beginning of the realization of our really big dream to see the entire Red Electric Trail completed.”
The bridge will also connect to the future S.W. Bertha Pedestrian Shared Street and Neighborhood Greenway, a project that will create a “low-stress” pedestrian and bicycle connection between S.W. 30th Avenue and S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, said the agency.
In the future, construction on the greenway project will begin in 2024 with funding from Fixing Our Streets.
What about other funds?
The bridge project received $2.1 million from a federal grant, $1.5 million in PBOT Transportation System Development Charges, and $1.1 million in Parks System Development Charges.
PP&R said the budget was $4.7 million.