PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Congressman Earl Blumenauer joined hands with community members and PBOT crews Thursday, breaking ground on his namesake bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Interstate 84.
The bridge will connect Portland’s Lloyd District with its Central Eastside and is expected to be completed in spring 2021. It will span over several lanes of highway traffic and give cyclists and pedestrians a connection between the two neighborhoods away from traffic.
According to advocates, the bridge will be a much-needed safety improvement to the area and will add to Portland’s reputation as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S.
“We now fully understand the climate crisis we’re in, and transportation is the biggest carbon contributor in our region and across the country,” Blumenauer said. “It will make a difference for decades to come.”
Blumenauer, a longtime cycling advocate and transportation leader, says he started biking to work in 1973 when he became a state legislator.
Blumenauer is known for his trademark bowtie, which he left at home Thursday. Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly joined the congressman for the groundbreaking ceremony at Northeast Seventh Avenue and Flanders Street.
“I don’t like to make promises that I can’t keep, but come hell or high water, somewhere on this bridge, there will be a bow tie,” Eudaly said.
Construction costs for the project are estimated at around $13.7 million, according to transportation officials.
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