Portland's bridges will open up to cyclists Sunday

Portland's bridges will open up to cyclists Sunday
KATU file photo of the annual Providence Bridge Pedal (by Bill Roberson, KATU.com).

PORTLAND, Ore. - Thousands of cyclists will be taking a leisurely ride across Portland's bridges Sunday morning.

It's all part of the 17th annual Providence Bridge Pedal, a family-friendly bike ride fundraiser for the hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

This is a banner year for the event - for the first time in four years, all 10 Willamette River bridges in Portland will be open to cyclists - from the Sellwood Bridge to the St. Johns Bridge.

The Providence Bridge Pedal features several routes of varying lengths and there is also a walking event for those who prefer to take things a little easier.

And of course, there will be plenty of vendors along the way handing out nutritious treats and sports drinks, bicycle shops on hand to perform quick fixes and musical acts doing numbers to keep folks entertained. If all that sounds like fun, there's still plenty of time to get in on the Providence Bridge Pedal.

  • Online registrations will be taken through 11:59 p.m. on August 11.
  • Register in person at REI stores on Saturday, August 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sign up the day of the event (Bicyclists - one hour before start time at Southwest Naito Parkway and Pine Street, near the Burnside Bridge / Walkers - one hour before start time at Southwest Salmon Street and 16th Avenue, adjacent to Lincoln High School).

And what about the impact on traffic? What kind of headaches will this cause for drivers?

"The confusing thing for the public is that the bridges tend to be open in one direction and the Bridge Pedal participants are going the other direction," said Multnomah County Spokesman Mike Pullen. "And it's hard to memorize all those because the course does tend to change from year to year. So look for detour signs. And volunteers will be out there directing traffic, along with the police."

Here's a quick guide if you just want to avoid it all but still need to get around:

  • Heading northbound through Portland - take I-405.
  • Heading southbound through Portland - take I-5.
  • Heading across the Willamette River - take either the Morrison Bridge or the St. Johns Bridge (they will be open in both directions).

And here's the specific closure information:

  • Sellwood - Closed westbound until 9 a.m.
  • Ross Island - Closed westbound until 10:30 a.m.
  • Marquam - Upper deck closed until 11 a.m.
  • Hawthorne - Closed eastbound until 10 a.m.
  • Morrison - Open in both directions.
  • Burnside - Closed westbound until 11 a.m.
  • Steel - Closed eastbound until 11 a.m.
  • Broadway - Closed eastbound until 11:30 a.m.
  • Fremont - Upper deck closed until 12 p.m.
  • St. Johns - Open in both directions
  • Complete route information

Bus and MAX service will be delayed as well, so be sure to add some extra time to your schedule if you plan on using public transportation while the event is going on.

And keep in mind that this is all happening for just a few hours Sunday morning and by noon, the event will be finished and everything will return back to normal.

KATU intern Christina Kempster contributed to this report.