A new bridge opened Tuesday in Southeast Portland, designed to provide a safe, convenient way for people biking, walking, or using a mobility device to cross the MAX Orange Line and Union Pacific Railroad.
The Gideon Overcrossing, named for a nearby street, takes travelers from SE 14th Avenue north of the tracks to SE 13th Place at Gideon Street, near the Clinton St / SE 12th Ave MAX Station, on the south side. The new bridge provides a north-south connection above the busy rail lines.
TriMet worked alongside the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to develop the bridge. Now that the bridge is open, TriMet will hand it off to PBOT, which will then own, operate, and maintain it.
"This new bridge makes it safer and more convenient than ever to bike and walk through Southeast Portland across the MAX Orange Line and the railroad tracks," PBOT Director Chris Warner said. "Thanks to our partnership with TriMet and area residents, we are able to make a crossing that will help people incorporate biking, walking, and public transit in their everyday lives. It takes years to make large projects happen, and a crucial piece of the MAX Orange Line is finally in place."
“The new Gideon Overcrossing is the end result of years of collaboration between TriMet, PBOT, the adjacent neighborhoods and others to fulfill a need—provide a safer, more convenient way for pedestrians and cyclists to cross heavy rail tracks,” TriMet General Manager Doug Kelsey said. “With its proximity to both a MAX light rail station and a bustling neighborhood greenway, this crossing creates yet another connection in Southeast Portland, one that will help visitors and neighbors alike move more freely.”
Located two blocks from the Clinton Neighborhood Greenway, the bridge enhances the connection from the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood to the Willamette River, completing the vision of the city’s “Clinton to the River” project.
Its proximity to the light rail station, which is approximately 300 feet to the west, makes it an attractive option for crossing the rails. It replaced an older bridge that was removed to make way for the MAX line.
This bridge is the final piece of the MAX Orange Line, which opened in September 2015.
The $15 million bridge was deferred during the development of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project (which built the MAX Orange Line) in 2010. But with the strong support of PBOT, federal partners, and community members, TriMet successfully secured approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to construct the bridge using some of the remaining funds from the MAX project.