A new sibling in Portland’s family of bridges opens to the public on September 12th, 2015. Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, brings a beautiful splash of color to the Portland skyline after sundown. Its nighttime lighting scheme actually changes color based on the temperature, speed and depth of the Willamette River flowing beneath the bridge.
The first Portland bridge built across the Willamette in forty years, at over 1700 feet in length, Tilikum Crossing stands alone as the longest car-free bridge in the nation. Instead, bicyclists and pedestrians will share the bridge with the new MAX Orange Line. Under construction since 2011, this cable-stayed bridge will start to relieve commuter congestion on the other bridges, as well as provide a safe, dedicated, and ADA-accessible option for all non-car travelers.
This spelling of Tilikum is from the traditional Chinook language, used in this area for centuries. It means “family” or “tribe” and was selected by TriMet from a list of public submissions to honor the Chinookan people, whose ancestors lived on the Lower Columbia for thousands of years.
When it opens on Sept 12th, be sure to check out Tilikum Crossing for yourself!