Portland Bridges Ranked

In honor of our new Portland Bridges Tee, we are pitting our bridges against one another. Portland is defined by its bridges, and unlike our food scene, seldom is there a ranking of the best bridges, so we are giving it to you. An experienced crosser, our brand manager Sam breaks down his list.

1. St. Johns
THE iconic bridge of Portland and the most beautiful one in all of Oregon. Gothic towers, magnificent spires, and a classic green paint make it half work of art and half engineering marvel. It was designed by David Steinman, one of the greatest bridge engineers ever (predicted the Tacoma Narrows collapse), who described it as his favorite. Before it was destroyed there was a guerilla skate park under it too!
2. Tilikum Crossing
A beautiful cable stayed bridge and even prettier lit up at night, but it’s the deck that makes the bridge awesome. The Bridge of the People allows no cars which means more fun and safety for cyclists, walkers, busses, and trains, one of the first in the US to have such function. The bridge’s ballin light displays are synced up with the river’s height and flow speed!
3. Sellwood
Our home bridge is awesome. Earthquake proof and bike friendly, since it’s opening, the new bridge is a beacon of hope for our area. The calm rides and walks across the bridge to River View or Willamette Park are beautiful, and extremely wide sidewalks with excellent grade separation makes for a safe experience. The informational signs on the edges help to orient you and explain the gran views extending up and down the Willamette.
4. Broadway
Probably the most underrated bridge for four reasons.
a. This is a world record holder! Portland’s own Broadway Bridge is the longest Bascule span of its type in the world.
b. It is sneaky tall. If you’ve ever taken a second to look over the edge, it is one of the taller bridges in the city, but you never really feel its height, it’s a comfortable cross.
c. The scarlet paint job is immaculate. It compliments Big Pink and the neighboring Steele Bridge perfectly.
d. It is a reclusive draw bridge, yet in my 16 years in Portland, have only seen it open once. A modest giant.
5. Fremont
If Pimp My Ride hit the Marquam, you’d get the Fremont. The epic arch, huge views, and sleek white paint job make this the best highway bridge in the city. (I-5 Our Annual Bridge Pedal event crosses over it and is a personal favorite as well. 

6. Hawthorne
The quintessential Portland bridge: you can bike over it, it lifts up, plus it has a distinct look to it. The bike counter is amazing when it’s not soaked in graffiti. 

7. Steel
Steel is truly a love hate. It is the only bridge in the world with independent lifts and is a double decker. The dual lifts do pose an issue because it seems on every single bike ride, there is a conscious decision by boat captains to have the bridge raised, forcing a multi-mile detour.
8. Burnside 
Like allergy season with its annoyingly persistent congestion, but the towers and design make it far prettier than the Morrison.

9. Morrison
If the DMV waiting room was a bridge, it’d be the Morrison

10. Swimming across the river

11. Marquam
If it weren’t a bridge, the view from its top deck would be the best date spot in the city. Mostly, it’s an eyesore that takes up some prime land along Portland’s otherwise beautiful waterfront. Trying to merge over to get onto 84 is like a chase scene from Mad Max Fury Road.
12. Ross Island
This bridge is a monument to mediocrity. No sidewalks, constant traffic, a 45% chance of death trying to merge onto it at any time of day. It needs to be replaced.

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