Kickin’ it in #PDX

Hey Folks,

I’ve been kickin’ it here in Portland for the last few days.  I was just recently at the North American Organic Brewers Fest and tonight I’m filming the @ecotrust Sundown Concert series which will be happening each thurs for the next couple of weeks.   If anyone would like to kick it with me and help find rad permaculture or ecocity related projects to check out hit me up via twitter @gaiapunk or at thejulianeffect(at)gmail.com.  Here is just one more reason that #PDX is the king of permaculture cites.

Portland's newest bridge over the Willamette has no room for cars

*Cross posted from the SE Porland Katu blog

PORTLAND, Ore. – Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Thursday in Portland to mark the start of construction of the first new bridge across the Willamette River in over 40 years.

However, the newest bridge to span Portland’s east and west sides since 1973, when the massive Fremont Bridge was lifted into place above Portland’s northern industrial district, will serve as a link for mass transit, cyclists and pedestrians.

There will be no lanes for cars and trucks on the new span, which will be a 1,720-foot suspension bridge with futuristic styling, wide sidewalks for cyclists and tracks for light rail trains and street cars. TriMet buses will also use the new bridge, which will be fed by Southest Sherman Street on the east side and Southwest Porter Street on the west.

The overall project, incuding 10 rail stations, ramps and other structures, is 7.3 miles in length.

Local dignitaries including Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, both longtime cycling and mass transit advocates, joined Rep. Kurt Schrader for groundbreaking ceremonies Thursday morning next to large cranes construction crews will use to build two foundations in the river for the bridge’s two truss towers.

Rail tracks across the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge will expand Portland’s widely heralded urban light rail and streetcar system out to a total of 60 miles when it connects Milwaukie and other communities along McLoughlin Boulevard on Portland’s southern border.

“This project will continue our region’s proactive approach to transportation,” said Congressman Blumenauer in a press release Thursday. “It provides thousands of jobs while improving connections for SE Portland and North Clackamas County. I applaud TriMet and our region for getting this project moving and I’m eager to see it get underway.”

“The bridge and the overall project will link east and west, improve and expand transit, and most importantly, create up to 14,000 jobs when we most need them,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.

Construction of the new span begins Friday, July 1 and is expected to wrap up in the fall of 2015. The cost of the bridge is about $1.5 billion, paid for with 50 percent federal funding and the rest funded by “state and local partners” according to a press release. It is similar to a recently constructed bridge in Boston.

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