Portland commuters now have even more reason to ditch their cars. Last Saturday, the city opened up its first new bridge over the Willamette River since 1973—but it’s not accessible to private motorized vehicles. Spanning more than 1700 feet, it’s the longest car-free transit bridge in the U.S.
Buses and Portland’s MAX streetcars running down the center of the bridge will share Tilikum Crossing with cyclists and pedestrians. Other bridges like New York City’s newly reopened High Bridge serve pedestrians and bicyclists, but this is the first project to add public transit to the equation while still remaining closed to private vehicles.
At night, artists have programmed the bridge’s lights to change based on the river’s current speed, height, and temperature, as monitored by the U.S. Geological survey. Crowds of people gathered on Saturday to test out the new bridge and the accompanying opening of the Orange Line, a new streetcar route across the bridge.