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With sun, food and fun, Portlanders will gather on Sunday to celebrate their newest car-free crossing, the Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge

Press Release
Confetti rains down on a silhouette of the Blumenauer Bridge against a light blue background. Below a bright orange bow tie, words read Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bridge opening day celebration July 31, 2022
It's a community celebration, and everyone is invited!
Published
Updated

Opening day for the Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge is Sunday, July 31

More than 50 food and beverage vendors, community organizations, musicians at five block parties

Go by BIKETOWN with a $20 ride credit, support area businesses with a $50 credit

(July 28, 2022) More than 50 community organizations and local businesses will come together in five block parties this Sunday for an all-day celebration of Portland's newest car-free bridge, the Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge. 

The Blumenauer Bridge will provide a vital connection for pedestrians and people biking between two of Portland’s fastest growing neighborhoods—Lloyd and the Central Eastside—and beyond.

PBOT is building the Blumenauer Bridge to serve as a vital connection for pedestrians and people biking between two of Portland’s fastest growing neighborhoods—Lloyd and the Central Eastside—and beyond.

In the spirit of how this bridge will bring us together, on Sunday July 31, PBOT will host a community gathering to celebrate the formal opening of the new crossing. 

Streets just north and south of the bridge will be closed on Sunday for block parties hosting local food and beverage vendors and community groups. The Central Eastside Industrial Council and Go Lloyd, along with The Street Trust and Friends of the Green Loop, are organizing the celebration with PBOT. There will also be an opening ceremony at noon in the South Plaza just south of the bridge, where local leaders, including Congressman Blumenauer and Portland Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty will speak.

In all, five block parties are planned as part of a full day of celebration. More than 50 local food vendors, community groups and musicians have signed up for the north and south plazas closest to the bridge. More musicians, vendors, and family friendly activities are planned at three other pop-up block parties that day. Most activity will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the opening ceremony at noon. In case of extreme heat, water, snacks, canopies for shade and water misters for cooling will be provided.

For full details about Sunday's opening day events, which go from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., see the PBOT website for the Opening Day Celebration for the Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge.

"This bridge is a dream come true, and it's a beautiful addition to Portland's network of infrastructure for biking and walking," Rep. Blumenauer said. "This bridge will make it more comfortable for people to bike and walk between the Lloyd and the Central Eastside, and it will make it easier for people all over Portland to get where they need to go by burning calories instead of carbon. I hope to see thousands of people joining my family and me at the bridge on Sunday to celebrate this amazing accomplishment for our community and inspire the next generation to continue Portland's leadership in creating sustainable transportation options for everyone."

Come for an hour, or 
Come and stay all day!

Schedule of events and map of all five pop-up block parties for the opening day celebration for the Blumenauer Bridge July 31 2022
Here's an overview of where and when the five pop-up block parties are happening to celebrate the opening of the Blumenauer Bridge.

Get the full details on Sunday's Opening Day Celebration for the Blumenauer Bridge at the PBOT website

"The naming of this bridge is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Congressman Blumenauer, who has worked tirelessly to help create the sustainable transportation infrastructure that many Portlanders enjoy today," Hardesty said. "I am excited to see how Portlanders will use this bridge to reach local businesses and housing in the area. Sunday's celebration reminds us how much we can accomplish when we work together as a community and a city. I am more optimistic than ever that when we work together, we can create transportation options that will make it safer for people to bike and walk, not just in central Portland and in the future Green Loop, but also in East Portland where I live, and everywhere across our city."

"To put the finishing touches on this bridge marks a special moment for everyone at PBOT and for our community partners who sought this for so many years," PBOT Director Chris Warner said. "We are the city's lead in planning, building and maintaining the roads and bridges that Portlanders use every day, The Blumenauer Bridge will help thousands of people get where they need to go without adding to carbon emissions or pollution. We designed it specifically as a lifeline that will serve first responders in case of a major earthquake, one of many examples of how we support Portlanders, each and every day."

“Portland’s leadership in transportation planning and economic development is on full display with this project,” Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam said. “We are building 21st century infrastructure that delivers a safe and sustainable mode of transportation, while ensuring equitable access to well-functioning transit options along with opportunities to participate in its construction."

Welcome to the celebration, this event map shows more details on where the location of Sunday's opening ceremony, architecture tour, bike ride and other events at the bridge
This map shows more details on the location of Sunday's opening ceremony, architecture tour, bike ride and other events at the Blumenauer Bridge.

See full details at the PBOT event website and look for updates this weekend at @PBOTinfo on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

"Years ago, people saw huge opportunity in the Central Eastside and invested in its potential," said Clare Briglio, Executive Director of the Central Eastside Industrial Council and Central Eastside Together. "Now, it is home to more than 65+ restaurants and retail businesses and hundreds of public art murals, making this a unique place to explore and invest. The opening of the Blumenauer Bridge introduces Portlanders to the makers, artisans and entrepreneurs who have been cultivating this community for years, and we are excited about the new connections this bridge will bring to the District."

“From its inception, Go Lloyd is proud to have been part of the advocacy, planning and funding of this crucial piece of transportation infrastructure," said Wade Lange, member of the Go Lloyd Board of Directors. "And we are delighted to participate in this community-wide event celebrating its highly anticipated opening."

Friends of Green Loop is excited for the opening of the Earl Blumenauer Bridge," Executive Director Keith Jones said. "Not only is this another critical link in the Green Loop, but also a boon to local businesses and community organizations who are looking forward to welcoming Green Loop visitors.”

Go by BIKETOWN, support local businesses on Sunday with discounts for the Blumenauer Bridge Celebration

  • BIKETOWN, Portland's bike-share system, will offer a $20 ride credit on Sunday for all trips within NE Multnomah to SE Alder and 9th Ave to MLK.
  • Anyone joining the Blumenauer Bridge grand opening event on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. can received a Kuto App gift card credit while supplies last. To promote intentional shopping and dining and support the recovery of the Central Eastside and The Lloyd, we’ll be issuing 1,000 $50 stimulus credits, funded by the American Rescue Plan, which are spendable at local small businesses participating in Here for Portland, Lloyd & Central Eastside. It is recommended to download the Kuto app in advance to make it easier to receive the credit on Sunday. For details, see hereforportland.com
The Blumenauer Bridge makes connections shown on this map of the bridge and area bike lanes and neighborhood greenways and the future Green Loop
The Blumenauer Bridge makes connections shown on this map of the bridge and area bike lanes and neighborhood greenways and the future Green Loop.

About the bridge

PBOT built the Blumenauer Bridge (originally called Sullivan's Crossing) to serve as a vital connection for pedestrians and people biking between two of Portland’s fastest growing neighborhoods—Lloyd and the Central Eastside—and beyond.

The new crossing completes a major segment of the future Green Loop, a concept for a 6-mile linear park with leafy green canopy, urban pedestrian plazas, comfortable mobility zones and engaged adjacent development that unites Portland's Central City neighborhoods. 

The Blumenauer Bridge will be 475-feet long and 24-feet wide, spanning over seven lanes of I-84 traffic, two active railroad lines, and Sullivan’s Gulch. The completed bridge will have a 10-foot wide pedestrian path and a 14-foot wide path for two-way bicycle traffic.

The bridge will be seismically resilient and serve as a backup route for emergency vehicles over I-84 in the event of an earthquake. In addition to the bridge, the project includes two new public plazas and landings on the north and south sides of the bridge.

The bridge will be located along the NE 7th Avenue alignment to best serve the geographic centers of both districts, link to existing and planned bike routes, and reduce conflicts with truck traffic. The nearest existing connections, on NE Grand Avenue and NE 12th Avenue, are substandard for pedestrian and bicycle use and have significant conflicts with freight and automobile traffic.

This bridge is being constructed by HP Civil Inc., an Oregon-based construction company. About 36 percent of the project's contracting is with minority and disadvantaged businesses, far exceeding the goal of having 22 percent of the work performed by certified contractors. 

The estimated total cost is $19 million. Funding for the project comes from the Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal Area and from Transportation System Development Charges (TSDCs), which are fees paid by development to mitigate the impact of new users of the transportation system.

Other funding sources include a commitment from the nonprofit transportation management association Go Lloyd and the Central Eastside Industrial Council.

Architect's rendering of the Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge over Interstate 84
This architect's rendering of the bridge shows the comfortable access it will provide for people walking, biking or using a mobility device.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the city’s transportation system and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage, and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at portland.gov/transportation