Bicycle paths on interstate freeway bridges

Bicycle and pedestrian advocates in the Kansas City area have been proposing to include a separated bicycle/pedestrian path as part of the new Paseo Bridge.

Some have objected that such facilities are rare, difficult, or dangerous.

In fact, as the following list shows, such facilities are increasingly common in the United States.

Interstate freeway bridges in the United States with bicycle/pedestrian crossings
Note: This is only a partial list.

  • Scudder Falls bridge on I-95 between Pennsylvania and New Jersey
  • I-80 Carquinez Bridge linking Vallejo and Crockett CA - separated bicycle/pedestrian path. (CalTrans fact sheet about the path)

  • Interstate 90 floating bridges across Lake Washington, Seattle - motor traffic lanes plus bike/ped lane immediately adjacent, separated by a cement barrier. (Read a bicyclist's account of crossing the I-90 bridge.)

  • I-494 over the Mississippi River near Minneapolis, Minnesota - path is immediately adjacent to the freeway, separated by a stone barrier.

  • Squaw Peak Freeway in Phoenix AZ

  • Appalachian Trail at I-80 Delaware Water Gap NJ-PA

  • Wonders Way on the Ravenel Bridge Charleston S.C. (new)

  • I-84 Newburgh Beacon Bridge over the Hudson River, NY

  • I-84 Bulkley Bridge over the Connecticut River, Hartford, CT - sidewalk on south side of bridge for bicycle/pedestrian use, separated by concrete barrier
  • I-278 Triboro Bridge, New York City

  • I-295, Tukeys Bridge, Portland, Maine - separated from the freeway by a jersey barrier; no known incidents

  • I-279 over the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh--12 ft ada compliant ped/bike lane cantilevered off the superstructure

  • I-95 Gold Star Memorial Bridge over the Thames River, New London, CT

  • George Washington Bridge I-95 NY-NJ includes a sidewalk accessible to pedestrians on the south side and a path accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians on the north side

  • Ben Franklin Bridge I-76 PA-NJ
    I-494 bridge over the Mississippi River near Minneapolis, Minnesota
    I-494 bridge over the Mississippi River near Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • I-95/I-495 (Woodrow Wilson) Bridge over the Potomac on the Capital Beltway in Washington, D.C., has an adjacent shared-use path on the bridge for more than a mile

  • I-90 bridge over the Fox River in the Chicago area has a bicycle path underneath the main bridge

  • I-80 crossing the eastern reaches of San Francisco Bay has an adjacent bicycle/pedestrian path
  • I-680 crossing San Francisco Bay in California will have an adjacent bicycle/pedestrian path (under construction)

  • I-10 over the Colorado at Blythe, CA

  • I-80 Yolo Causeway bridge, between Sacramento and Davis, CA - approximately 3-mile section over the Yolo Bypass that includes a bike path physically separated by a barrier from the westbound traffic lanes

  • I-82 Columbia River bridge between Washington State and Umatillan, OR

  • I-5 bridge over the Columbia River at Vancouver, WA--sidewalks on both sides.
  • Woodrow Wilson Bridge I-95 MD-VA (proposed)

  • The Record of Decision for two planned new interstate highway bridges across the Ohio River in or near Louisville includes separated bicycle/pedestrian facilities for both bridges

  • Interstate 395 bridge across the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. (immediately adjacent sidepath separated via jersey barriers)

  • Interstate 66 bridge across the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. (immediately adjacent sidewalks on each side separated by guard rail)

  • The I-395 and I-66 bike/ped facilities have existed for more than two decades without any safety problems related to their immediate proximity to the roadway.

Expressway type facilities, similar to interstates, with bike/ped on bridges

  • The Biloxi Bay Bridge (US 90), connecting Biloxi with Ocean Springs, MS, was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The replacement will be built by a consortium of contractors led by Kansas City-based Massman Construction Co. The bridge will include 6 motor vehicle lanes and a 10-foot separated bicycle/pedestrian lane.
  • The new Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, SC, is not an interstate but has 8 lanes of fast motorized traffic and has a ped-bike facility. The people who claimed no one would use it have been proven wrong--the biggest complaint is that it can get crowded.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge, Hwy 101, San Francisco--sidewalk on each side. This is considered a freeway.
  • The Page Avenue Extension near St. Louis has 10 lanes of fast motor traffic and an attached bicycle/pedestrian path
  • US-1 bridge in the middle of Richmond VA--a ped/bike underbridge was retrofitted beneath
  • Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Tacoma, WA (State Route 16)--a 10 foot separated bicycle/pedestrian path, which is included on this route that is busy enough to require two separate multi-lane suspension bridges across the 5900 foot Narrows.

Interstate bridges that allow bicycle traffic on shoulders
Bicycle traffic on these bridges is on shoulders that are not physically separated from the freeway traffic

  • I-5 American River bridge, Sacremento, CA - shoulder open to cyclists when the parkway below it is flooded
  • A number of others

Interstates that have paths adjacent to them
These are non-bridge sections of interstate that have paths nearby or immediately adjacent for one reason or another.

  • Glenn Highway, Anchorage, Alaska - pathway adjacent to the first 22 miles of the Glenn Highway out of
    Anchorage, a 4&6 lane controlled access freeway; mostly unfenced and on the far side of drainage swale, some behind guardrail
  • I-66, Arlington, VA. The Custis Trail - mostly retaining walls or sound proofing walls separating, but in some sections just grassy shoulder/chain link fence; in 20 yrs no reports of runaway cars on the trail or trail users on the freeway
  • I-95, Brunswick, Maine - path adjacent to freeway for 3-4 miles; separated by distance and a chainlink fence
  • I-70, Glenwood Canyon, Colorado; Vail Pass, Colo.
  • I-205, Portland, OR
  • I-670, Columbus, Ohio - usually separated by grade but sometimes noise wall
  • I-84, Portland, OR
  • I-84 and I-384, Hartford and Manchester, Connecticut - Charter Oak Greenway parallels the freeway for about 4 miles
  • I-80/I-215, Salt Lake City, Parleys Crossing, UT
  • I-291 (Bissell Bridge), Hartford, Connecticut
  • I-80, Park City-Wanship, UT
  • Hwy. 1, Castroville to Seaside, California
  • Route 390 Expressway, Rochester, NY
  • Suncoast Parkway, Tampa, Florida
  • Route 104 Expressway, Rochester, NY
  • I-82, Yakima, Washington
  • I-435, Overland Park, Kansas - runs parallel to I-435 for a distance of
    about 1.5 miles, separated from the freeway by a fence