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(May 9, 2019) Portland Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly joined David Porter, Executive Director of Leach Garden Friends, and community members today to celebrate the opening of the new 122nd Avenue Bridge over Johnson Creek.
The SE 122nd Avenue Bridge, located at the entrance to Leach Botanical Garden, was damaged by high water associated with heavy rains during winter storms in December 2015 and was closed to motor vehicles until a replacement bridge could be built.
Beginning in January 2016, PBOT crews worked to stabilize the bridge site to limit the risk of further deterioration. The project was initially funded in March 2016 by a committee of the Oregon Department of Transportation and local agencies. In total, the replacement of the SE 122nd Avenue Bridge was allocated $3.5 Million in Federal Highway Bridge Funds. The federal funds required a local match of $350,000, which PBOT provided using general transportation revenue, which is mainly funded by parking revenue and the City’s share of state gas tax.
The new bridge consists of a durable reinforced concrete deck supported on steel girders, clear spanning the creek to eliminate all future flood related issues. It is about 10 feet wider to accommodate sidewalks on both sides of the bridge and has been constructed to be ADA accessible. The bridge railing features a decorative grass design that complements its natural surroundings. The bridge is also designed to support the salmon habitat in Johnson Creek. The new bridge’s design life is 75 years.
“Building a bridge is never easy, and this was a particularly complicated project: parts of the preexisting bridge dated back to the 1900’s and could not be easily repaired,” said Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “The new bridge is a big improvement, with sidewalks on both sides and ADA accessibility. This bridge is also more resilient in the face of flooding, and it is built to serve our community for many decades to come. I know that we have all been waiting for quite a while for this day and I’d like to thank every community member for your patience.”
“Leach Garden Friends is very happy to have this attractive new bridge at the gateway to the Garden. It is a herald of things to come as we begin our own improvements,” said David Porter, Executive Director of Leach Garden Friends, in reference to the Garden’s Upper Garden Development Plan that will bring new botanical and programmatic experiences to visitors and make a connection to the historic Garden and Manor House along Johnson Creek.
Bridge and garden visitors can park at the Garden’s parking lot just south of the bridge and walk across the bridge to the Garden’s main entrance. A map with directions to the garden available at the garden’s web site: www.leachgarden.org
Additional photos and information about the 122nd Avenue Bridge can be found at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/122ndbridge