After a half year of demolition and construction by Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) and their contractors, the new Springwater Corridor Trail crossing officially opened on January 15.
The new bridge, near S.E. 45th Avenue and Johnson Creek Boulevard, replaces the original 1900s wooden trestle bridge formerly used by the Springwater Division Line rail service, according to PP&R Parks Bond Community Engagement Coordinator Maija Spencer.
"Just Bucket Excavating, Inc.", a local minority-owned business, completed the $1.2 million project, which was funded through the Parks Replacement Bond, Spenser explained during a tour of the new bridge, just before it officially opened to bicyclists and pedestrians.
"As part of this project, we removed the old bridge's seven support piers that were in Johnson Creek – hindering the flow of water, and catching debris," PP&R Capital Project Manager Marlo Medellin told THE BEE. "With the new design, by 'Fieldwork Design & Architecture', there is only one pier from end to end, and it's not in the water!"
While it appears to be a "cable-stayed bridge", the bridge design is more for aesthetics, Medellin pointed out; the sturdy bridge was constructed with a steel frame that supports the poured reinforced-concrete surface, anchored to the landings on either side of the bridge.
"The exposed frame is 'weathering steel' that blends in nicely with the natural surroundings, while providing long-term durability," Medellin explained. "And, it makes for easier maintenance because it doesn't require painting."
It "feels" wider than the old bridge, but it's not, she said; the width of both is 14 feet. "It just feels wider, because the rails splay out from the bridge rather than coming up perpendicular to the deck surface."
Spencer smiled as she examined the smooth concrete deck. "Instead of the old, slippery, timber deck bridge, now bicycle riders and pedestrians – including participants in the 2020 Hood to Coast Relay – will enjoy going safely over this new bridge for years to come."
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