Pedestrian Lane on the Bridge of the Gods? Petition Seeks Funding

The Bridge of the Gods is an iconic point on the Pacific Crest Trail. Located in Cascade Locks, Oregon, it sits at the lowest elevation on the entire trail. It also crosses the Columbia River to connect Oregon and Washington, ushering northbound thru-hikers into their third and final state on their journey to Canada.

But there’s a catch: the bridge has no pedestrian lane.

Photo credit: Rachel Shoemaker

According to the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA), “people making this crossing often have declared that the bridge was the most dangerous part of their 2,650-mile hike from Mexico to Canada.” It’s not hard to understand why, considering hikers crossing the 1,858-foot bridge have to do so in the same space as cars, semi-trucks, and log trucks.

A Petition is Born

In an effort to provide safer passage for pedestrians, the Port of Cascade Locks, which owns and operates the bridge, and the PCTA have created a petition to advocate for a new lane for foot and bike traffic. The petition seeks “$6 million each from the states of Oregon and Washington to begin the work necessary to add the new pedestrian lane, paying for seismic improvements, a structural analysis, and the overall planning and design.”

Photo credit: Katharina Schumacher

Hikers aren’t the only ones who would benefit from a pedestrian lane. According to the petition, it would “improve public safety for residents in communities in both states who rely on it for commuting.” It would also “be a boon to the local economies that increasingly rely on tourism and would improve the connectivity and efficiency for interstate commerce traveling through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.”

To learn more and view the petition, visit the PCTA’s blog article here.

Featured image by Kevin Quach

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