The Portland Bridge is located in Portland, Oregon on the Willamette River. The Willamette River is a major tributary of the Columbia River and separates the City of Portland at its mouth into the Columbia. The Willamette Basin is home to nearly two-thirds of Oregon’s population and provides the city with 75% of its economic output. In recent years, the Willamette River has been plagued with pollution and environmental issues and is now part of an ongoing renovation project to create bike, walking trails and boat docks to help rejuvenate the Willamette River and create a recreational area for the city of Portland. The City of Portland and many environmental groups are also working to create better water quality and healthier wildlife populations to help revitalize the Willamette River.
The Willamette River is a tidal river meaning its flow levels are influenced by tides. The level of water on the Willamette River also has large variation due to yearly precipitation levels. To accommodate this, there are 15 major dams and a complex series of levees, dikes and channels to control its flow to avoid flooding. To help rejuvenate the river, the City of Portland was seeking a slip resistant material that would be utilized on floating bridges and docks for vehicles, bikers and pedestrians.