Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge

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Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge
The Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge is a planned approximately 700-foot (210 m) pedestrian bridge in Portland, Oregon, United States. It will connect the Lair Hill neighborhood with the South Waterfront area. It will be a steel box girder bridge, a change from the original plans for an extradosed bridge, made to reduce the project's cost. The bridge will cross I-5 and SW Macadam, and connect SW Kelly Avenue on the west side (one block west of I-5) to SW Moody Avenue on the east side, close to the Portland Aerial Tram. Construction began in January 2011 and is expected to last about one year.

The project dates back to 2005 with approval of the federal Transportation Equity Act of 2005 which dedicated $5 million to the project. The preliminary design was approved by the Portland City Council on December 3, 2008. It was originally to be an extradosed-type bridge. In the first round of bidding, the project came in over the budget that the city had allotted for it, and consequently needed to be rescaled. This in turn delayed the timeline and led to a change to simpler design. After undergoing technical engineering design and detailed neighborhood impact assessment, the refined project was opened to bidding in autumn 2010, and the city council awarded a $6.7 million construction contract to Wildish Construction. The overall project budget, originally anticipated to be between $7 million and $11.3 million, is expected to be met mostly by federal funds, with ten percent local funding. Early public opinion was mixed, but has turned favorable, particularly by those living near the proposed bridge location under the Portland Aerial Tram. One of the provisions of the 2002”“2006 tram construction was to bury existing powerlines in the underlying neighborhoods, but those plans were dropped when the highly controversial tram project encountered significant budget overruns. The pedestrian bridge was another mitigating concession promised. The $11.3 million congressional allotment may have been to also pay for a study to improve access to the Ross Island Bridge. Eastbound traffic for the bridge frequently clogs the Lair Hill neighborhood while waiting to merge. Mayor Sam Adams has said that whatever funds are left over from the Gibbs Bridge project can be used for studying the Ross Island auto access problem.

Description, usage
To compensate for the elevation difference at the ends of the bridge, an elevator is planned at the South Waterfront end to serve the expected five-story height. It includes a bicycle stairway. Estimates of existing demand indicate that if the bridge opened in 2009, summertime usage would total 466 crossings per day composed half of bicycle use and half pedestrian use. With school in session, fall usage is expected to increase to 730 crossings per day: 310 by bicycle and 420 pedestrians. By 2035, usage is estimated at 3,000 to 4,000 crossings per day.