The bike path over the current I-5 bridge between Portland and Vancouver is narrow, poorly connected and has not improved — yet. However, the Columbia River Crossing remains an active undertaking to completely revamp the link between cities. Bicycle and pedestrian access to the new bridge is a significant concern and design point for bridge engineers. The replacement bridge design includes two double-decked structures, the northbound of which carries vehicle traffic on the upper deck above a covered path for pedestrians and cyclists below. The path will be up to 20 feet wide, and aims to minimize noise, dust, and vehicle exhaust exposure for pedestrians and cyclists.
On Hayden Island and in Vancouver, miles of multi-use paths, bike lanes, and sidewalks will be built or improved to better connect trails and transit stations on either side of I-5. In addition, a pathway over North Portland Harbor east of I-5 and a new bridge with bicycle lanes west of I-5 will connect North Portland and Hayden Island.
The environmental planning phase was completed in 2011, and the project is currently preparing for construction in late 2013. The Columbia River Crossing hopes to “encourage up to 1,000 pedestrians and 5,000 bicyclists a day to cross the river on the new bridge by 2030.”
The development of pedestrian and bicycle improvements was shaped with the help of those who walk or bike in the project area. The project continues to seek community and advisory committee feedback for the next steps of design details, including bicycle parking, pavement striping, and signs.
For project contact information, news, events calendar, and more, visit the Columbia River Crossing website here.