Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People

Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People

Portland, Oregon
United States
Tilikum Crossing

TYLin served as Engineer of Record for Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, a transit-only, cable-stayed bridge spanning the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.

The sleek, multi-modal Tilikum Crossing is the largest transit bridge in the United States for light rail, streetcars, buses, bicycles, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles but no private or commercial vehicles.

At 1,720 feet long, with a main span of 780 feet, the concrete bridge is a hybrid between a traditional cable-stayed layout and an extradosed bridge, with two towers and two landside piers. Two 14-foot-wide bicycle-pedestrian paths flank each side of the bridge, with pedestrian belvederes at the towers.

The design-build project was the jewel of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project, a 7.3-mile transit link from downtown Portland to Park Avenue in Clackamas County.

TYLin provided the design engineering of the elevated structure, along with roadway improvements at the eastside touchdown, two 160-foot-tall pylons, drilled shaft foundations, direct-fixation track, and systems integration.

TYLin also implemented important value engineering concepts. These included optimizing the foundation system by reducing the number and size of drilled shafts and providing an alternative structural basis for mitigation of liquefaction that removed the need to stabilize the soil on the west approach.

Project Highlights: 

  • The project had an aggressive design-build schedule, calling for work to begin in the river only five months after notice-to-proceed.
  • Because the bridge is in an area of relatively high seismicity, TYLin was charged with ensuring that the bridge design successfully met special transit and seismic design requirements.

Image credit: Tom Paiva Photography

Video Credit: TriMet


National Honor Award, 2016
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)
Outstanding Achievement Award of Excellence, 2016
Portland Cement Association (PCA)
Best Highway/Bridge Project Award, 2016
Engineering News-Record (ENR), Northwest
Project of the Year, 2016
American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon (ACEC-OR)
People's Choice Award, 2016
American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon (ACEC-OR)
Bridge Award of Excellence, 2015
American Segmental Bridge Institute (ASBI)
Excellence in Concrete Award, 2015
Oregon Concrete & Aggregate Producers Association (OCAPA)

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