There’s good news and bad news about TriMet’s upcoming project that will close the upper deck of the Steel Bridge for four weeks in August.
First the bad news: The project means the upper deck will be closed to all users — including bicycle riders. That’s unfortunate because the sidewalk and lanes of the upper deck are a nice option for biking on when you’re in a hurry and/or don’t want to deal with crowds on the Waterfront-Esplanade path. This is especially true for folks wanting to keep a distance from others.
The good news is that TriMet will finally make significant upgrades to this major bottleneck on the aging and ailing Steel Bridge. This means more reliable service at a time when we need our transit system to be as strong as possible to compete with driving trips if/when downtown commuter traffic ever gets back to normal.
According to TriMet, their Steel Bridge Improvement Project will close the upper deck between August 2nd and 29th. The work will disrupt all five MAX light rail lines (the bridge handles 623 trains a day!) and buses will be used to shuttle riders around the work zone. TriMet says shuttle buses will depart every two to five minutes between the Rose Quarter and Union Station. Five bus lines and car traffic will also be rerouted to other bridges.
TriMet says people can expect an extra 30 to 45 minutes of travel time — unless of course you can go by bike or some other non-transit, non-driving method.
The Steel Bridge path will likely be much busier during the closure, as will nearby bridges like the Burnside and Broadway.
Below is an animation of the shuttles and closure impacts:
Learn more about this project at TriMet.org.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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