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"Bridging" Us Together

Today it is my great honor to open the Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge. As we celebrate another milestone in connecting our communities, I am reflecting on how far we've come and am grateful to the thousands of people who have helped us along the way. Together, we are restoring community connections and giving people choices about how they get to work, school, neighborhoods and businesses.

Earl and his grandchildren getting a sneak peak of the bridge earlier this week.

It's no secret Portland has been going through some troubled times. The luster of our past livability accomplishments have lost a little of their shine. But there is a great deal happening behind the scenes, and many ideas are ready to move from the drawing board into reality. This bridge is one of the ties that binds them all together.

This vehicle-free crossing connects the OMSI district and Central East Side to the Lloyd Center, whose new owners have the vision and resources to begin a real makeover. It is in close proximity to what will soon be the completely rebuilt Benson High School and will provide safer access for students, staff and community. And it's also a connecting corridor to the existing streetcar line with an extension into Northwest Portland, and the potential to unlock thousands of badly needed housing units. The bridge design provides an earthquake-proof link over I-84 for emergency services access, keeping communities more connected and safe in the event of a disaster.

This beautiful new bridge is a symbol of the vision and planning that ties together so many growth opportunities at a time that is critical for our city. It adds to the many livability milestones that have distinguished Portland, places like the Vera Katz East Bank Esplanade, Springwater Corridor, Tilikum Crossing, and other budding community connections. The Green Loop for biking is fast becoming a reality, as is our work to revitalize a symbol of dysfunctional transportation– 82nd Avenue–into a major redevelopment opportunity. Together these things add up to a sum far greater than any single project.

For over four decades it's been my honor to work with Portlanders to make our community one of the most livable in America, indeed gaining national recognition along the way. Today marks another important benchmark in our effort. I hope all of you will join me in celebrating this accomplishment and enjoying the ride together.



Posted on July 31, 2022.