The Broadway Bridge has been closed to all traffic to install the new length of rail for the streetcar. Originally streetcar construction planners thought they could do it without closing it to bikes and pedestrians, but that idea was axed when they realized the balance of the Broadway Bridge is in fact so delicate that they had to work on both sidewalks at the same time to “avoid torquing” the bridge.
They're working on the sidewalks of the Broadway Bridge because they're actually replacing them with fiberglass, to make the bridge weigh less. “Because we’re adding 240,000 pounds of track, we have to take that off the bridge,” streetcar spokeswoman Julie Gustafson says.
Meanwhile the Hawthorne Bridge will be closing on August 7th to be a park for a day! Apparently it’s Hawthorne’s 100th year birthday, and to celebrate, birthday enthusiasts are trucking in 25,000 square feet of lawn and setting up picnic tables over the bridge. Food carts will line the sides. The hitch is, due to weight limits, you’ll need a ticket, and you can only get one through a pricey auction.
Of course all traffic from both bridges will then be directed to the already narrow and usually crowded pedestrian/bike ramp of the Steel Bridge. We are predicting a full collapse into the river. Maybe the splash will even show up the fancy festival bridge lights on Hawthorne.