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Project Background
Map showing where this project will take place (click to view a PDF, printer-friendly version).

Construction of the Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge was a longstanding priority for community members in the South Portland Neighborhood (formerly the Corbett/Terwilliger/Lair Hill neighborhood). This pedestrian and bicycle bridge provides safe and convenient access between these neighborhoods and the Willamette River and the emerging South Waterfront District. The City of Portland received funding from the Federal Highway Administration to design and construct this important bike and pedestrian connection.

Before 2008

The first concepts for the pedestrian bridge were identified by participants in the international competition to design the Portland Aerial Tram. In 2006, the City hired a consulting firm to refine the bridge design. This process gathered more input from the public on aesthetics and concluded with the identification of a bridge concept that was acceptable to the community and the City, but that probably could not be constructed within the $7 million construction budget. View the background materials, including previous public comments and conceptual designs.

In 2008, the City hired a consulting team headed by CH2M HILL to build upon the previous work and collaborate with the community to design a preferred bridge concept that meets the project’s requirements and can be constructed within budget. Detailed design and engineering work was completed, as well as obtaining environmental permits to prepare for construction. Construction began in January 2011. Photo simulations are available in the project library.

Pedestrian Crossing Improvements were included as part of the Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge project. These are proposed at Naito Parkway, SW Barbur Boulevard, SW Corbett, and SW Kelly. More information on these concepts is found in the background materials section of the project library.

Since 2008

Conceptual visualizations of Steel Box Girder Bridge concept which is currently being developed.

With input from the Citizen’s Advisory Committee, the City selected a bridge type for the crossing; Steel Box Girder. In addition, the city made other changes to the overall design including a simplified elevator and stairway design and one elevator instead of two.

The consultant utilized an independent cost estimating firm with experience in the local construction industry to assist with the estimating, construction methods and other potential cost savings to be able to bring the project design within budget. The design team worked on the design, along with several meetings with the Design Commission and South Portland Neighborhood Association. The City hosted an Open House in June 2010 (read more on the Get Involved page).

Construction

The project was advertised for construction in September 2010 with a bid opening on October 28, 2010. The construction contract was awarded to Wildish Standard Paving Co., a Eugene-based company with experience building roads and bridges throughout the Pacific Northwest. Their bid was $6.7 million compared to the engineer's estimate of $8.1 million. Construction started in January 2011 and the bridge was opened to the public in July 2012.

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