Portlands newest car-free bridge has a new namerino.
The Northwest Portlands Flanders Crossing was renamed Thursday morning in honor of beloved Simpsons character Ned Flanders, best known for his piety, luscious mustache and always positive attitude.
Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation, unveiled the new name along with Travel Portland CEO Jeff Miller and real Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon.
Simpsons creator Matt Groening grew up in Portland and named several characters from the long-running animated series after the streets of Portland.
Flanders Street is named after George Flanders, one of the city’s first inhabitants and shipping magnate who arrived in what would become Portland in 1849.
The 24-foot-wide, 200-foot-long pedestrian and bicycle bridge connects Northwest Flanders Street to 15th and 16th Avenues, spanning Interstate 405. It opened in June and is part of a neighborhood greenway that will eventually extend from the West Hills to the Willamette River.
Calls for a pedestrian bridge on I-405 date back to the 1970s, when the section of the freeway first opened. These discussions have become more serious over the past 15 years and construction of the bridge began in June 2020. The bridge is designed to survive up to a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
The expected cost of the bridge increased over time, eventually reaching around $ 9.5 million. The project received a ConnectOregon grant of $ 2.9 million from the state, but was largely funded by developer fees, collected through transportation system development fees.
Jayati Ramakrishnan; 503-221-4320; [email protected]; @JRamakrishnanOR
Samantha Swindler contributed to this report.
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