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Streetcar free over Broadway Bridge during sidewalk closure

Streetcars crossing the Broadway Bridge

To reduce the inconvenience to the traveling public during an upcoming closure of the Broadway Bridge sidewalks, Portland Streetcar Inc. will provide free rides across the bridge during the closure.

Work to maintain safety on sidewalks on the Broadway Bridge will require closing both sidewalks to the public from 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 16 until 5:30 a.m. on Friday. Pedestrians and bicyclists are advised to follow

City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation, said the offer of free service demonstrates how the different parts of the city’s multimodal transportation system can work together.

“Our transportation system provides many ways for Portlanders to get around,” Novick said. “Sometimes we inevitably have to inconvenience the public, and when we do we should take advantage of any way we can help reduce the disruption.”

The temporary “free” zone for streetcar service will be in place Tuesday, July 16 through Thursday, July 18, 2013 to allow an alternative to the Steel Bridge detour for pedestrians and cyclists. Fares will be required for all other trips on Portland Streetcar.

Rides covered by this program are westbound from the N Broadway & N Ross Avenue streetcar stop to NW 11th Avenue & Northrup Street, and eastbound from the NW 9th Avenue & Lovejoy Street stop to N Weidler Street & N Ross Avenue.

Free streetcar service could be especially helpful to pedestrians, who would otherwise need to walk more than half a mile to the Steel Bridge.

The Broadway Bridge is on one of the busiest bike routes in Portland, carrying 4,432 cycling trips a day in summer 2012, according to Transportation Bureau figures. Signs will indicate bicycle and pedestrian traffic detours to the Steel Bridge. Cyclists are advised to expect delays and use alternate routes, including the Steel Bridge.

The closures are required for crews to repair the non-slip coating on bridge sidewalks. The coating was installed as part of the Central Loop extension of the Portland Streetcar. Flaws in the coating are being repaired at no cost to Portland Streetcar or the City of Portland.

To limit the inconvenience to the public during the work period, the City of Portland and the contractor performing the work agreed to a full closure of the sidewalks, 24 hours a day for three days, rather than a partial closure for five days. Crews are expected to finish before Friday morning rush hour, but the work is weather dependent and schedules may change.

Streetcar service will not be affected by the weekday closures. The public is advised to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes.

The closures will not impact river traffic.

[Photo courtesy of OregonLive.com]