Construction of new Lafayette Street pedestrian overcrossing begins with demolition of old structure


New bridge adds elevators and will be ADA compliant; provides modern, safer link for Brooklyn neighborhood

An agreement between TriMet, the City of Portland and Union Pacific Railroad is resulting in the construction of a new and improved pedestrian bridge over railroad tracks near Lafayette Street in SE Portland. Demolition and construction of the existing bridge begins Tuesday morning, July 29.

Rendering of future Lafayette Street pedestrian bridge in the Brooklyn neighborhood will connect to future Orange Line MAX station and other destinations.

Rendering of future Lafayette Street pedestrian bridge in the Brooklyn neighborhood will connect to future Orange Line MAX station and other destinations.

The new Lafayette Street structure will replace the existing Lafayette pedestrian bridge built by Union Pacific in approximately 1943. The alignment of the new bridge will be at Rhine and Lafayette streets, to line up with the signalized pedestrian crossing of the future SE 17th Ave & Rhine St MAX station as part of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project. Removal of the old bridge and construction of the new one will require a pedestrian detour until the new bridge is completed in spring 2015.

The new bridge provides pedestrian and bicycle enhancements for the Brooklyn neighborhood and connections to Cleveland High School, Fred Meyer headquarters in addition to the SE 17th Ave & Rhine Street Station and nearby bus stops.

Features and improvements:

  • Glass elevator cabs increase visibility and improve security and are large enough to accommodate bicycles with trailers or a child’s tag-along attachment. Elevators have two doors that allow bicyclists to enter and exit the elevator without having to turn around.
  • Bridge span width will be increased from 6 feet wide to 12 feet wide; stair width will be increased two feet to 8 feet.
  • Stairs have been straightened to provide clear sight lines.
  • Adding closed-circuit television cameras and improved lighting.
  • Bike gutters provide greater ease to move bicycles up and down stairs.
  • Public art inspired by the adjacent rail yard and incorporating poetry written in conjunction with Cleveland High School students.

The construction cost of bridge replacement is $3.9 million, split between the Portland-Milwaukie light rail project ($2.2 million) and Union Pacific ($1.7 million).

About the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project
The 7.3-mile project is the region’s sixth MAX construction project and will improve transit in this corridor that extends from the terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at Portland State University in Downtown Portland to South Waterfront, SE Portland, Milwaukie and North Clackamas County. About the project:

  • 7.3 miles
  • 10 stations
  • The first of its kind multi-modal bridge in the U.S. will carry light rail and streetcar trains, buses, bicyclists and pedestrians, but no private vehicles.
  • Opens Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
  • Expands the MAX system to 60 miles and 97 stations

Project partners
The Federal Transit Administration, State of Oregon, Clackamas County, Metro, City of Milwaukie, Multnomah County, City of Oregon City, Oregon Department of Transportation, City of Portland, Portland Development Commission and TriMet.