New Bridge and New Light Rail Line

Today was the big opening. I think we have been watching this bridge and the light rail track construction for two years. It is my first time to be in a city when either a bridge or a new light rail line opens. I was surprised by how many celebration activities there were and how well attended.

First the bridge (from the moving train window).

view of bridge

Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People

Those “delicate” looking lines look much larger up close.


The bridge is for bicycles, pedestrians, and public transportation. No private cars.  If you want to know more about it, here are two articles (here and here).

Several stops had extended activities, plus others had a few booths. I had read which musicians were available and planned a schedule. First the Tilikum Village, hosted by the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde, for lunch.

Tilikum Village

Tilikum Village

In the back you can see a part of the longhouse and the tent of crafts–lovely beading, weaving and leather work to tempt me. In the front two fires, one new and one baking salmon. In the middle is the line of people waiting for a taste of salmon (very good). Here is a better view of the salmon.

Salmon baking

While eating I listened to drumming and chanting and watched dancing. There was face painting for children, and I saw a young girl with a delicate dream catcher painted on her cheek. (Sorry, didn’t think of a photo.) By the time I was ready to move on, the crowd had increased and the temperature had gotten closer to the 90s.

While waiting the the train, I caught a photo of the tram in transit.


I would think the view would be terrific. The tram, along with all public transportation, was free today, and Plan A had been to ride it. But when I saw how many people tried to board the train, I figured there would be too many trying to get into those smaller cars and saved the ride for another day.

The next stop featured rides for little children, but what attracted me was an opera rehearsal.


Alas, my timing. I got there just in time for their ten minute break. Since there were no chairs, I didn’t hang around long even though I was in the shade. I did hear a bit of Toreador and another song that I didn’t recognize. A clever way to let people know they can get to the opera vis the new train line.

I’d intended to get off at the next stop for the Orange Line Special Ice Cream flavor, bitter orange and olive oil, by Salt and Straw. I had tasted their olive oil ice cream before, and it was much better than it sounds. But the crowd had gotten a bit overwhelming and the heat more intense. So the air conditioning on the train felt pretty good, and I rode to the end of the line, thinking to have ice cream on the way home. But I had a seat on the train, and it occurred to me that I have all month to taste the special flavor. So going home won.


Filed under Portland OR, travel

5 responses to “New Bridge and New Light Rail Line

  1. Maribeth

    Thank you for your account! It does sound like a festive occasion. I lived in St. Louis when they first built light rail from the airport to downtown, and it was a similar occasion. It added so much to the life of the city – we need more! Now there is talk of light rail between Phoenix and Tucson, and apparently has been for 10+ years. I hope I am here to see it!

  2. Looks like a lot of fun and a beautiful day to enjoy it in!
    (And I’m hoping for a full report on that ice cream before the month is out. I can’t even imagine…)

  3. dezertsuz

    How much fun that sounds! And does this make it easier to get around town, or you still have to take that long bus ride to the Featherweight cleaning person?

  4. Cher

    a hot day indeed. glad you were able to enjoy some of the events and that ice cream could be enjoyed after guild meeting!

  5. What a day of adventure and fun Claire! You sure know how to find great things to see and do!

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