PORTLAND, Ore. — The pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-405 is ready to greet all who use it with a cheery “Hi-diddly-ho Neighborinos!” It will now be known as Ned Flanders Crossing.
Flanders is, of course, the beloved sweater-wearing, secretly buff, mustachioed, always chipper friend (and sometime unlikely adversary) of Homer Simpson.
A plaque revealing the bridge’s new name and Flanders’ peppy greeting, “Hi-diddly-ho Neighborinos!” was unveiled by Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, the mayor of Springfield, Oregon Sean VanGordon and CEO of Travel Portland Jeff Miller.
Springfield, Oregon, if you didn’t know, is the setting and hometown of “The Simpsons.” There is a 15’x30’ mural commemorating in the city to commemorate its importance to “The Simpsons,” designed by Portland-native and creator of the show Matt Groening.
There are many unofficial spots in Portland related to “The Simpsons,” but Ned Flanders Crossing is the first officially recognized Simpsons-related landmarks.
“It’s a wonderful day for our city,” said Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “Naming this new bridge after Ned Flanders shows that Portland can build great things and have fun too. Thank you to Matt Groening and his team for embracing this idea.”
To show that Portland and Springfield are indeed good Neighborinos, Mayor VanGordon presented a key to the city of Springfield to Commissioner Hardesty and in return she gifted him a Ned Flanders Lego mini figure and a bike bell decorated with the Portland flag.
“Springfield, Oregon appreciates our partnership with Matt Groening and his incredible crew and our long-term connection with The Simpsons,” said Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon. “The Official Simpsons Mural in Downtown Springfield has brought our community years of laughter, thousands of family photos, and a host of visitors from across the globe. We hope the Ned Flanders Crossing brings a smile to the face of your wonderful neighbors and becomes a positive connection for our two cities.”
Ned Flanders Crossing is 24 feet wide and is designed for two-way pedestrian and bike traffic. You can learn more about it here.
“The naming of Ned Flanders Crossing celebrates Portland’s thriving comics and animation community that resonates with many visitors,” said Jeff Miller, president and CEO of Travel Portland. “We also look forward to visitors making use of the bridge for decades to come while exploring the Pearl District and Northwest District by foot and bicycle.”