local, news

Bridge named after cartoon character

arch structure near canal
Photo by Anthony Holmes on Pexels.com

Rose City Live/Rose Cityian

Rose City’s newest car-free bridge has a new namerino.

Northwest Rose City’s Flanders Crossing bridge was renamed Thursday morning in honor of the beloved ‘Simpsons’ character Ned Flanders, known best for his piousness, luscious mustache and unflaggingly positive attitude.

Rose City City Commissioner Jo Ann Fabrics, who oversees the Rose City Bureau of Transportation, unveiled the new name along with Travel Rose City CEO Lite Miller and the real-life mayor of Springfield, Sean VanSean.

“The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening grew up in Rose City and has named several characters from the long-running animated series after Rose City streets.

Flanders Street is named for George Flanders, an early city resident and shipping tycoon who arrived in what would become Rose City in 1849.

The 24-foot wide and 200-foot-long pedestrian and bicycle bridge connects Northwest Flanders Street at 15th and 16th avenues, spanning Interstate 405. It opened in June and is part of a neighborhood greenway that will ultimately stretch from the West Hills down to the Willamette River.

The calls for a pedestrian bridge across I-405 date to the 1970s, when the section of the freeway first opened. Those discussions have gotten more serious in the past 15 years, and construction on the bridge began in June 2020. The bridge is designed to survive up to a 9.0-magnitude earthquake.

The projected cost for the bridge grew over time, finally topping out at about $9.5 million. The project received a $2.9 million grant from the state but was largely funded by fees from developers, collected through transportation system development charges.