Welcome to Rose City Wednesday! When I left you last week I believe we were standing next to the statue of Mayor Vera Katz at the southern end of the Eastbank Esplanade, near the Hawthorne Bridge—& I forgot to say “to be continued.”
But perhaps you knew that. After all, if you’ve been following along, you know that I live nowhere near the southeastern corner of the Hawthorne Bridge, & you also know that I’ve set myself the task of walking all the “walkable” Portland bridges. Here it was, a glorious Sunday afternoon, with a big fat sun & the most pleasantly mild of breezes—so despite the fact that I’d already hiked from Northwest Portland & there was a bus stop nearby that could have taken me back to my neighborhood, I of course set off across the Hawthorne Bridge.
Perhaps because the day was so beautiful, I found the Hawthorne Bridge to make for a pleasant walk indeed. As you can see in the photo above, the sidewalk—which is very ample—is divided into both a walking & a bike lane; & on such a splendid spring day, this was a good thing indeed, as there was plenty of bike & pedestrian traffic on the bridge, especially heading west. Bikes in fact must cross to the west on the north side & to the east on the south side. While there are no similar restrictions for pedestrians, the flow certainly tends in that direction. In fact, per Wikipedia, the Hawthorne Bridge carries the most bike traffic of any Portland bridge, averaging 4,800 cyclists per day. In addition (& having mentioned the Hawthorne Bridge bus stop a while back—tho that stop is actually past the bridge on the east side), it also carries the most bus traffic: over 800 Trimet buses, averaging 17,400 riders daily.
|The bridge rising|
The bridge was opened in 1910, & replaced an earlier bridge on the site that was destroyed in a fire. One of its most distinctive features—in addition to its rather dramatic truss profile—is the steel grating used for the car traffic lanes.
Although the bridge carries many bus riders, it doesn’t carry light rail or streetcars, & no current transit plans are in place for it to do so—it had been considered as a route for the planned Max light rail Orange line from connecting Southwest & Southeast Portland, but a dedicated bridge is currently being built for that further south on the Willamette.
|The Hawthorne Bridge as seen from Waterfront Park|
Four bridges down: four more to go!