(April 13, 2021) Construction has begun on the Red Electric Bridge in Southwest Portland. The pedestrian and bicycle bridge developed and constructed by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) between SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and SW Capitol Highway on behalf of Portland Parks & Recreation is a critical segment of the Red Electric Trail system.
The Red Electric Bridge includes a 10-foot wide trail from the intersection of SW Bertha Boulevard and Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, travelling south over a ravine on a 12-foot-wide bridge where it will intersect with SW Capitol Highway. The bridge project will also construct new lighting, update guardrails along Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, as well as add ADA sidewalk curb ramps, pedestrian and bicycle crosswalk striping, improve grading and drainage, build retaining walls and a new stormwater facility, and plant new trees and vegetation in and around the new bridge. Construction is expected to be complete in Spring 2022.
The Red Electric Trail is a major regional trail which connects the existing Fanno Creek Trail west of Alpenrose Dairy to the Willamette Greenway Trail in South Waterfront. It generally follows the old Red Electric train line which opened up in 1914 and closed in 1929. It is being built as part of the Portland region’s 220-miles of regional trails. When completed, there will be 16 miles of safer, mostly off-road Red Electric trail between the Tualatin and Willamette Rivers. The bridge will also connect to the future SW Bertha Pedestrian Shared Street and Neighborhood Greenway, a Southwest in Motion project that will create a low-stress pedestrian and bicycle connection between SW 30th Avenue and SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. The SW Bertha Boulevard Neighborhood Greenway is scheduled for construction in 2023-2024 thanks to funding from Fixing Our Streets.
The Red Electric Bridge Project is funded by a $2.1 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, approved by Metro Council and disbursed through the Oregon Department of Transportation, $1.5 million in PBOT Transportation System Development Charges and $1.1 million in Parks System Development Charges. The total project budget is $4.7 million.
Construction crews will work on the project from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and occasional weekends. Local access to adjacent properties will be maintained during construction. The first phase of construction will be to remove trees from the project area to create space for the new bridge. PBOT worked carefully with Urban Forestry to preserve mature trees in the area and will be planting new trees and vegetation as part of the project.
Pedestrians and people biking: A temporary pedestrian and bicycle detour will be installed in the area of SW Capitol Hwy and SW Nebraska Street.
Transit riders: There is no impact to transit riders.
People driving: Vehicle access will be maintained during construction activities. People driving may experience minor traffic delays in and near the work area. Expect some periods of flagging on SW Capitol Hwy and SW Bertha Blvd. On-street parking will be restricted in and near the work zones to create a safe work environment and to stage equipment and materials.
We ask the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane detours and directions by temporary traffic signals and flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible. PBOT greatly appreciates the patience and understanding of nearby residents and businesses. Learn what you can expect in our work zones and how you can help everyone stay safe by watching this video: https://youtu.be/lx3RkJjkjSE
Visit the project website for more details and to sign up for email updates: https://www.portland.gov/transportation/red-electric
Special note regarding Covid-19 and construction work
PBOT has been in modified operations since March 17, 2020 and has implemented specific measures to ensure the safety of our crews and contractors. This includes modified shifts, social distancing, and other precautions based on current guidelines from local, state, and federal health officials. Thank you for giving our crews the space and time they need to keep our city moving.