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A new footbridge over the MAX and Union Pacific tracks is in the works, north of Brooklyn

COURTESY OF TRIMET - This conceptual rendering of possible Gideon Street Bridge options was provided by TriMet. At the March 28 meeting of the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association, residents learned that a new bike and pedestrian bridge to the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood is being planned to replace the wooden one torn down to make way for MAX Orange Line construction.

The new "Gideon Overcrossing" will extend from S.E. 14th Avenue in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood, across both MAX and Union Pacific Railroad tracks, to connect with S.E. 13th Place at Gideon Street. The bridge will be in line with the Portland Fire Bureau Station 23's crossing access to nearby S.E. Powell Boulevard.

Construction of the new bridge was deferred in 2010 when Federal funding for the project came in below earlier expectations. Now, TriMet has successfully secured approval from the Federal Transit Administration to construct a new truss-style bridge at the location, using the remaining Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project funds.

Roberta Alstadt, Media Relations &Communications Manager at TriMet, explains, "The images shared at the Brooklyn meeting were just design options or ideas; there will be refinement." The design process with TriMet and the Portland Bureau of Transportation is now in progress.

The old bridge at the site, remembered for its former skateboard park on the north side, was eliminated due to the addition of MAX Orange Line tracks. The new 24-foot-tall bridge will be serviced by stairs and two elevators, similar to those at the S.E. Lafayette Street bridge crossing. The Gideon Overcrossing enhances neighborhood connections, and reportedly completes the city's vision of the "Clinton to the River" project.

The new bridge will be located within the city's public right-of-way to minimize impact to neighboring businesses. Its proximity to the light rail station (which is about 300 feet to the west), is thought to make it an attractive option for commuters on foot crossing the rails to this MAX Station. When completed, the bridge will be owned and operated by the City of Portland.

TriMet and the City are planning and designing the 103-foot-long truss-style bridge and stairs, and hope to begin construction in the fall of 2019. The new bridge will likely be open at the top, similar to that at the Lafayette Street Bridge. The estimated cost of the project is $7.5 million. One longstanding promise – one of over twenty years' duration – that has yet to be fulfilled is the pedestrian and bicycle crossing for north Westmoreland, from the western to the eastern Reedway Street alignment, across the MAX and Union Pacific tracks, that was the original basis for the planning for what was known as the "Harold Street Station" – not built, and for the same reason: That shortfall of federal funds for the MAX project in 2010.

The Reed, Eastmoreland, and Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhoods have all passed resolutions asking that the Reedway Bridge be built, to connect these neighborhoods to each other and to MAX service, but TriMet has so far been unreceptive to constructing it. The city has shown some interest in possibly building it on its own, however, for the same purposes.

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