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Meet your Bridge Naming Committee

Neil McFarlane, General Manager of TriMet, with Chet Orloff, chair of the Bridge Naming Committee.

Neil McFarlane, General Manager of TriMet, with Chet Orloff, chair of the Bridge Naming Committee.

The bridge construction site at night, from the east bank of the Willamette River.

The bridge construction site at night, from the east bank of the Willamette River.

A diverse group of leaders from across the region
with a shared sense of place.

Chet Orloff, Chair
Member, Oregon Geographic Names Board
Director Emeritus, Oregon Historical Society

Betty Dominguez
Director of Policy & Equity, Home Forward

Matthew French
Managing Partner, Zidell Corporation

Sue Keil
Member, Willamette River Bridge Advisory Committee

David Lewis
Tribal Historian, The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

Brenda Martin
PSU Graduate Student

Alice Norris
Former Mayor of Oregon City

Pat Reser
Arts, Education and Historical Advocate; Beaverton Business Owner

Travis Stovall
TriMet Board Member

Krystyna Wolniakowski
Director of Western Partnership Office, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

A community selection process

Public helped name bridge for first time!

This October 2013 photo shows progress on the bridge deck and permanent cable installation. Downtown Portland is in the background.

For the first time in our region's history, the public participated in the naming of the new bridge over the Willamette River.

The naming process kicked off Sept. 5, 2013, when the Bridge Naming Committee met for the first time to review the committee's objective and purpose, and receive an overview of the general criteria for naming landmarks.

In October and November 2013, the public was encouraged to submit suggested names for the bridge. 9,500 submissions were received!

The committee researched and considered submitted names and committee member suggestions, and narrowed the possibilities down to a selection of four names. After considering public input, the committee chose the name Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.

PDF Download
Committee's objectives and purpose

(80 KB PDF)

Selection criteria

The Name the Bridge outreach effort generated nearly 9,500 name submissions. Scores of suggestions recognized noted community leaders who contributed to our region, state and beyond. Many honored Native Americans. Many conveyed the purpose of the bridge. Numerous suggestions showcased our region’s beauty and character.

Members of the community-based bridge naming committee reviewed and considered all names through the filter of the selection criteria it had discussed and adopted earlier in the process.

After considerable discussion, the committee selected four bridge names as those that best reflect the region’s history and culture, and promise to connect and hopefully inspire us—not just now, but 100 years from now.

This short list of names selected by the committee reflects unanimous agreement among the members.

After considering further public input on the four names, the committee chose the name Tilikum Crossing Transit Bridge, Bridge of the People.

  • Origin of name
  • Meaning of proposed name
  • Is it inspirational? If so, why?
  • Regional perspective
  • Does it reflect how bridge connects people? If so, how?
  • Historical significance (if any)
  • Biographical info (if commemorative)
  • Any special cultural meaning?
  • What will it mean 100 years from now?
  • Spelling
  • Pronunciation
  • Sound/ring/flow

Schedule for bridge naming process

Bridge name announced on April 16, 2014

This conceptual image provides an idea of how the bridge will look when looking north from South Waterfront.

A view of the busy bridge construction sites from the east bank of the Willamette River.
  • Introductory meeting of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge Naming Committee
    Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013
  • Initial public bridge name submission period
    Oct. 17 to Dec. 1, 2013
  • First committee selection of possible bridge names
    Winter 2014
  • Bridge name finalists public comment period
    Jan. 15 to March 1, 2014
  • Final names forwarded by committee to TriMet general manager
    Spring 2014
  • Final bridge name chosen by TriMet general manager
    April 16, 2014
Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit ProjectPamplin Media Group

The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project is a partnership of
Federal Transit Administration, Clackamas County, Metro, City of Milwaukie, Multnomah County, The City of Oregon City,
The Oregon Department of Transportation, Portland Development Commission, TriMet