All joking aside, what is that new Willamette River bridge going to be called? Starting this morning, the citizens’ committee appointed to decide is asking for ideas.
In construction for more than a year, the new cable-stay bridge is being built by TriMet as part of its Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project. The agency says it’ll be the only one in the country to carry buses, trains, emergency vehicles, and people on bike, foot or skate, but no private cars. It’ll connect the fast-developing Southeast Division Street area with the South Waterfront.
In August, TriMet chose a committee to handle the naming process. It’s chaired by Portland State University historian Chet Orloff, with help from:
the naming committee.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
— Betty Dominguez, director of policy and equity for Home Forward, Portland’s public housing authority
— Matthew French, managing parter of the Zidell Corporation
— Sue Keil, a member of the Willamette River Bridge Advisory Committee and former Portland Bureau of Transportation director
— David Lewis, tribal historian for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, the Native American community whose ancestors have lived here as long as anybody
— Brenda Martin, a PSU graduate student in urban and regional planning and a regular transit rider
— Alice Norris, a former mayor of Oregon City
— Pat Reser, a Beaverton business owner and philanthropist
— Travis Stovall, a TriMet board member and Gresham business consultant
— Krystyna Wolniakowski, director of National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Portland office
It’s hard to imagine, of course, that none of these folks have their own opinions on who or what this $134 million landmark should be named for. But you never know; TriMet ended up naming its light rail system, the Metropolitan Area Express, after a pet rabbit in a book of a local typography designer’s young son. To submit your ideas for the bridge’s name, visit TriMet’s website for the process.
The biking connections to this bridge will be crucial to making it deliver the economic value it promises. We’ll be running a couple posts soon looking closely at the ways this is likely to happen, so stay tuned.