Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People Wins 2016 Project of the Year and People’s Choice Awards from ACEC Oregon


T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), a globally recognized full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announces that Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People (Tilikum Crossing) in Portland, Oregon, has won the 2016 Project of the Year and People’s Choice Awards in the Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) competition of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon (ACEC Oregon). TYLI served as the Engineer of Record for the landmark span, working closely with the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), the project owner, and Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., the Design-Build Contractor.

The centerpiece of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project, the new 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. The 1,720-foot-long bridge is also the first cable-stayed bridge in Portland.

“T.Y. Lin International is deeply honored that Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People has received both the 2016 Project of the Year and People’s Choice Awards from ACEC Oregon. This signature bridge is not only an iconic symbol of Portland’s vitality, it is also the first major bridge in the country dedicated to progressive, alternative solutions to meet urban transportation needs,” said David Goodyear, P.E., S.E., PEng, TYLI Senior Vice President and Chief Bridge Engineer.

As Engineer of Record, TYLI had to satisfy the special transit design, seismic design, and aesthetic design requirements established for the project by TriMet, including the form of the bridge, towers, and stay-cables. To control unique design conditions, TYLI designed Tilikum Crossing as a hybrid between a traditional cable-stayed layout and an extradosed bridge. The visually-stunning span features two 180-foot-tall stay-cable towers and two landside piers. Taken together with the flatter rise of the cables, the clean, modern profile of the bridge reflects the slopes of the nearby Cascade Mountains, which are the visual backdrop for the bridge when looking toward the triangular form of Mount Hood.

TYLI engineers also introduced numerous value engineering concepts to reduce project costs. These included optimizing the foundation system by reducing the number and size of drilled shafts, and providing a superior, cost-effective, alternative structural solution that removed the need to stabilize the soil or handle hazardous materials on the west approach.

Tilikum Crossing had an aggressive project schedule that called for work to begin in the river only five months after notice-to-proceed. Along with meeting that deadline, the project team also successfully met TriMet’s request to accelerate the project schedule by six weeks to allow the rail systems contractor to begin work earlier than contracted. Tilikum Crossing opened on time and under budget on September 12, 2015.

Photo credit: Tom Paiva Photography