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T.Y. Lin International Announces Grand Opening of Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People in Portland, Oregon

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T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), a globally recognized full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announces that the new Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People (Tilikum Crossing) opened to great fanfare in Portland, Oregon, on September 12, 2015. Working closely with the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) and the Design-Build Contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., TYLI served as the Engineer of Record for the landmark bridge, which is a vital component of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project. The 1,720-foot-long Tilikum Crossing is the nation’s largest transit-only bridge, built to carry only light rail, buses, cyclists, pedestrians, and streetcars, but no private vehicles.

TYLI designed the Tilikum Crossing as a hybrid between a traditional cable-stayed layout and an extradosed bridge, with two distinctive, 180-foot-tall stay-cable towers and two landside piers. Roadway improvements were designed at the east side touchdown, along with two 160-foot-long pylons, direct-fixation track, and systems integration. To reduce project costs, TYLI engineers also introduced numerous value engineering concepts, including optimizing the foundation system by reducing the number and size of drilled shafts and providing an alternative structural solution that removed the need to stabilize soil on the west approach.

The project had an aggressive schedule that called for work to begin in the river only five months after notice-to-proceed. In addition, the design team had to satisfy special transit design, seismic design, and aesthetic design requirements. Visual criteria for the Tilikum Crossing, which is the first cable-stayed bridge built in Portland, ranged from the form of the bridge, towers, and stay-cables to the modern lighting system, stainless steel pedestrian handrails, and overall compatibility with the urban surroundings.

“Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People is the jewel of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project” said David Goodyear, P.E., S.E., PEng, TYLI Senior Vice President and Chief Bridge Engineer. “We are tremendously pleased that T.Y. Lin International had the privilege of designing such an important, visually-iconic bridge for Portland, ‘The City of Bridges’.”

Photo credit: Tom Paiva Photography