It's not often you actually get to go outside and play on the freeway, but people in this area were invited to do just that last month and many of us took advantage of the chance.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has just opened a newly-constructed bridge over the Willamette River on Interstate 5. It is called the Whilamut Passage Bridge. The name is a Kalapuya Indian word that means "where the river ripples and runs fast." The Kalapuyas were the first peoples to live in this area.
Last month, the community held a celebration to honor the completion of the project. We were able to walk on the bridge, which had not yet opened to traffic. Access was via the same scaffold stair tower that was used by the bridge construction crew.
ODOT employees and volunteers watched to make sure that the tower wasn't overloaded.
The new bridge was a challenge to build. ODOT needed to get freeway traffic safely across the broad Willamette river without spoiling the ambience of the river or the well-loved park that borders it. The last phrase of the project will be to enhance the park and bridge approaches.
Here is a view of the Willamette from the top of the bridge.
More information at willamettebridge.org.
This post is linked to OUR WORLD Tuesday. Thanks to Lady Fi, Sylvia, and Sandy.