The Portland Design Commission on Thursday applauded the proposed design of a bridge to connect Lloyd and the Central Eastside Industrial District across Interstate 84, and serve only bicyclists and pedestrians.
The bridge, to be named after U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, will connect the two neighborhoods at Seventh Avenue. With an arched design extending north to south, white painted steel and lights underneath, the bridge is intended to become a local icon.
The design calls for a 24-foot-wide path, with 10 feet allotted for pedestrians and 14 for cyclists. The north and south landings would contain spaces to rest and gather, with green space and boulder-like seating that conveys a natural feel. Each end would have more artistic, slender lights mounted to poles. The south side would feature a tree-like design.
Developers said the bridge will need to be able to accommodate emergency vehicles, but trees, benches and curbs might be used to ensure people understand the structure is designed specifically for foot and bike traffic. Those same features will be used to make a clear separation between pedestrian and cyclist paths.
Commissioners were largely in favor of the proposal, with Chairwoman Julie Livingston calling it an “elegant structure” and a “really happy design result.” Praise in particular was given to the south landing, which commissioners said would foster a sense of community in the area.
Limited criticism was given to plans for the north landing, which would be much smaller than its counterpart and have less space for users to relax. Also on the north end, commissioners requested a more transparent demarcation between space for cyclists and pedestrians.
The bridge is expected to cost between $9 million and $13 million, and open by December 2020.