OREGON CITY -- The historic Arch Bridge that links Oregon City and West Linn closed Saturday for a two-year refurbishing.
Not only will the closure push more traffic onto I-205, it will have a big impact on downtown Oregon City businesses, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Alice Norris just wrapped up her second term as Oregon City mayor and has great pride in the 18 new businesses that have opened up in the historic downtown.
Faced with the daunting task of keeping startups going, Norris and the business community managed to delay the bridge closure for a year.
"The downtown businesses just rose up in frustration," she said, "How can you do this to us, we're just trying to get our feet on the ground. So, citizen activism. We all got together and got ODOT to delay the bridge closure for a year."
Faced with the prospect of negotiating busy I-205, Nancy and Jim Zauner are having second thoughts about making the crossing via the freeway.
"I'll probably quit going to the gym," Nancy Zauner said, "because we have to go across to go to the gym."
For those on foot and human-powered two wheels, the Arch Bridge is the only realistic way to cross the Willamette River. They are not allowed on I-205. The only alternative is the Sellwood Bridge, far to the north.
During the closure, ODOT will shuttle pedestrians and bicyclists between Oregon City and West Linn during business hours.