It was 1973 the last time a new bridge opened over Portland's Willamette River: a double-decker span with eight lanes of freeway. Times have changed. When the Tilikum Crossing Bridge opens later this year, it will be one of the few in the U.S. that's purpose-built for transit, bikes and pedestrians—no cars allowed.

Bike Portland's Jonathan Maus got a sneak preview of the bridge, which is a gorgeous steel affair. Dedicated bike and pedestrian paths travel along either edge, with the city's MAX light rail line slicing through the center. Even more impressive is all the bike-only tech, with sensitive signals triggered by sensors embedded in the concrete below.

I've been wracking my brain and I can only think of a handful bridges in the center of major US cities which are not open to cars. (There's the Big Dam Bridge in Little Rock, and the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga.) It reminds me a bit of Copenhagen's gorgeous bikes-only Cykelslangen bridge, which opened last year.

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Head over to Bike Portland to see plenty of photos of the bridge and read more details about its glorious mandate to connect one of the bike-friendliest cities in the world. [Bike Portland via Streetsblog]

Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland