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Portland Marathon returns this weekend; traffic to be impacted on downtown bridges

Four thousand runners are expected to compete. For many, it's their first large in person race since the start of the pandemic

PORTLAND, Ore. — A rite of fall is back for thousands of local runners. After being canceled last year due to the pandemic, the Portland Marathon returns this year with about 4,000 expected participants.

All participants are required to show a vaccination card or proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event. Masks are required at the race expo on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Convention Center and on the morning of the race on Sunday, Oct. 3 in the starting corrals and at the finish.

Runners will not be required to wear masks while competing, in accordance with state COVID guidelines for outdoor events.

"We want to invite and encourage people to come out and participate to spectate, whether that be the start and finish line or through one of the neighborhoods, we just want to make sure that people do so safely," said Jared Rohatinsky, CEO of Brooksee, the company that puts on the Portland Marathon.

For many of the 4,000 or so participants, this will be the first major in-person race they’ve entered since the start of the pandemic. Chicago, New York and Boston all have their marathons returning later this fall as well. 

RELATED: Race organizers prepare for virtual, in-person and everything in between in 2021

The Portland Marathon and Half Marathon both start at 7:10 Sunday morning, crossing several downtown bridges. Multnomah County will be closing bridges. The start and finish are located in downtown near SW Salmon and Naito Parkway.  Find a link to the course map here.

Traffic impacts on race day 

Broadway Bridge: The bridge will be closed to all motor vehicles, including TriMet buses and Portland Streetcar, from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. TriMet’s 17 bus line will detour to the Steel Bridge. Sidewalks will remain open for bicyclists and pedestrians. Drivers can use the Steel or Fremont bridges during the closure. For information on Portland Streetcar service changes, visit www.portlandstreetcar.org/schedules.

Burnside Bridge: The north sidewalk, bike lane, and outside westbound lane will remain closed from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. TriMet bus routes 12 and 19 detour to Steel Bridge. Bus route 20 detours to Hawthorne Bridge.

Morrison Bridge: The onramp from SW Naito Parkway to the bridge will be closed, along with the south shared use path on the bridge and the offramp to SE Water Ave. from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. All traffic lanes on the bridge will remain open, along with the north sidewalk. TriMet bus route 15 detours to Steel Bridge.

Sellwood Bridge: The north sidewalk and westbound lane will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. The south sidewalk and eastbound lane will remain open. Westbound drivers can use the Ross Island Bridge as an alternate route.

The lift spans of the Broadway and Burnside bridges will not open for river traffic from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Chris McGinness is a meteorologist and transportation reporter for KGW. Got a story idea or a great photo you want to share? Email him at cmcginness@kgw.com or reach out on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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