Buoys are in the water for the first stage of construction on a new bridge over the Willamette River. The bridge, as yet unnamed, will support light rail, bike, and pedestrian traffic between Portland and Milwaukie.
Streaks of orange blazed across the gathering on the Willamette waterfront for the groundbreaking - from flapping banners to Portland Mayor Sam Adams’ tie. The new Orange MAX line the bridge is designed to carry will join existing red, blue, yellow and green lines. Two fourteen-foot decks will also have lanes for bikes and walkers.
Congressman Kurt Schrader joined his colleague Earl Blumenauer to inaugurate the project. He says up to fourteen thousand workers will be needed for it.
“Hopefully this is the type of project that will show the rest of the country that infrastructure spending isn’t, quote, ‘just spending’,” Schrader said. “It’s actually building the future.”
Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard noted some politicians in his region lost their jobs for supporting light rail. But he says the county needed the project. Construction is expected to last til 2015.