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Bridge of the People

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tilikum Crossing
Bridge of the People


On September 10th, 2015, Portland officially welcomes its latest addition: Tilikum Crossing. The bridge links the city’s South Waterfront, home to an Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) campus and the Portland Aerial Tram, to the Central Eastside, known for visitor favorites like the Eastbank Esplanade and Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), plus some of the city’s best dining and nightlife.



The bridge contains 178 LED lights that power the display. TriMet will host a BridgePort beer garden (who also released a Tilikum Crossing IPA), food carts, a live broadcast of music to accompany the show and the best view in town. TriMet will host a BridgePort beer garden, food carts, a live broadcast of music to accompany the show and the best view in town.

The Tilikum Crossing, otherwise known as the Bridge of the People, is set to open to the public September 12. It will be the nation’s only multi-model bridge that won’t allow private motor vehicles, and will instead serve as an exclusive crossing for the lightrail, buses, bikers and pedestrians.

The lighting system, which is a part of the public art program for the soon-to-be-opened MAX Orange Line, is timed with the currents of the Willamette River through a computer system that pulls real-time data directly from the U.S. Geological Survey river monitor located near the Morrison Bridge.


“Tillicum Bridge = Bridge of the People (in the native language). To honor those who loved this place first and those that still do.”

“To honor Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest who used this word to name a friend, or refer to the common people.”

“This is a people’s bridge (not a car bridge) in more ways than one. This name also ties us to the past and present through this Northwest Native American word.”

“Relates back to the original heritage of the state and its first people. Dignified name.”

“A beautiful name bridging past People, families and traditions with those of the present and the future of those who will come.”


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