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The bridge over the Willamette River will be the largest car-free transit bridge in the U.S., carrying light rail trains, buses, streetcars, cyclists, and pedestrians.


Portland's Tilikum Crossing brings rail, bikes and pedestrians across the Willamette

Photos and text from Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet)

photo of cable bridge half built

The two towers of the bridge under construction with Mt. Hood in the distance


A bridge under construction across the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon will carry bicycles and pedestrians as well as transit. The structure is scheduled to open in fall 2015.

TriMet, the Portland metropolitan area's regional transit authority, is building the bridge, which will be used by Orange Line light rail trains, the Portland Streetcar, and buses. Walkers and cyclists will have their own 14-foot wide lanes, but private cars and trucks will not be permitted on the bridge.

The public was invited to suggest names for the bridge, and "Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People" was the final selection by TriMet. Also known as the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge, the structure will add capacity to the region’s overall transportation system by:

• Providing bike and pedestrian access to existing and planned greenways and bike routes on either side of the Willamette River

• Adding a second light rail connection between the eastside and downtown Portland

• Creating new access points to important destinations such as Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), the Central Eastside and OMSI

• Reducing commute pressure on other bridges and reducing their travel time and operating costs

Drawing of bridge with bike lane

Drawing showing the bike and pedestrian lanes with transit in the center


Bridge details

• Year-of-expenditure budget: $134.6 million

• Tower height, from pier cap to top: 180 feet

• Total length: 1,720 feet (.326 miles) between landside abutments

• Length of midspan between towers: 780 feet

• Typical width of span: 72.5 feet

• Maximum width at towers: 110.5 feet

• Width of multi-use paths: 14 feet each side

• Clearance height at 150-foot-wide center section between towers: 77.52 feet

• Maximum speed of buses or rail vehicles on bridge: 25 mph

• Design/Build Contractor: Kiewit Infrastructure West Co./T.Y. Lin



For more information:

• Bridge construction can be viewed live at

• Videos that provide behind-the-scenes details of contruction are available at construction/bridgeview

• Time lapse of bridge construction starting July, 2011 to completion:

• Trimet website for the bridge:


photo of bridge with lights at night


photo of bridge tower with cables photo of bridge under construction photo of bridge with lights at night


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