They came to say goodbye. They came to have a good look at the new bridge. And some came to try and claim the title: “Last person to walk on the rusty old span.”
Chris Nolan brought his family to mark the moment.
“It’s a piece of Portland history,” he said. “We saw the original bridge moved, when they started construction. I’ve walked over this bridge, biked over this bridge, driven over this bridge hundreds and hundreds of time.
“So it’s a moment in history. A moment in time. And we thought it was important to see it.”
Despite the celebrations, the next few days will be tough for local commuters. While a ceremony to mark the opening of the new bridge starts Saturday at noon, the actual span won’t open until Tuesday at the earliest.
The project is on schedule, but about 4 percent over budget. Construction isn’t expected to finish until Thanksgiving.