WHAT: Tilikum Crossing, completed in 2015
FUN FACT: Former City Commissioner Steve Novick wanted to name the bridge after ‘Lisa’ from The Simpsons, but that idea (thankfully) didn’t make the cut. The four finalists were Wy’east Bridge, Abigail Scott Duniway Bridge, Cascadia Crossing, and Tillicum Crossing. And no, that’s not a typo. The naming committee changed “Tillicum” to “Tilikum” to reflect the Chinook Wawa’s original native spelling.
WHY IT’S SPECIAL: Tilikum Crossing is the first major bridge in the country to serve cyclists, pedestrians, and public transit but not cars. Its name translates loosely to “Bridge of the People,” and its angular design mimics the slopes of Mt. Hood behind it. Another fun design feature? The lights attached to its cables change color based on the Willamette River’s water temperature, the tides, and the speed of the water. The lights turn shades of orange and yellow when the water is warm and shades of blue and green when it’s cold. They move closer to the center of the bridge when the tides come in, and to the ends when the tide goes out. And the speed of the color change is based on the speed of the water flow.
QUOTABLE: “There’s none that’s been more anticipated nor significant than what we’re celebrating here today. The Orange Line, the bridge that ties it all together, this is transportation for our future.” —U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer at the bridge’s opening ceremony
Flashback Friday is a weekly-ish series featuring people and events that shaped our city, and we’re binging on bridges right now. Read more about all our city’s bridges here.