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Field Work and Construction Updates

Updated January 27, 2017: With major construction work now complete, there will no longer be a weekly Field Work Notice. Notices will be posted in 2017 if important field work is scheduled.

Sellwood Bridge Field Work Update

Cradles, skid beams & lifting jacks under the truss

Cradles, skid beams & lifting jacks under the truss

Field work update - December 21, 2012

Project News

Multnomah County has signed a contract with the Slayden-Sundt Joint Venture to construct the new bridge and Highway 43 interchange.  Ninety seven percent of the project is now under contract to be built.  Several non-bridge elements still need to be designed and will not be under contract until 2013. 

Construction of the new bridge will begin in 2013.  The new bridge is scheduled to open to traffic in May 2015.  Construction of the entire bridge and interchange will be completed in June 2016.  A section of the east bridge approach can’t be built until the new bridge opens and the detour bridge is removed.

January Bridge Closure

A one-week bridge closure has been scheduled from January 17 – 24 to move the 1100-foot truss span and set up the detour bridge.  The bridge will close at 5 a.m. on Thursday, January 17 and reopen by 7 a.m. on Thursday, January 24.  The truss span will be moved in a full-day operation on Saturday, January 19, weather permitting. 

Hwy. 43 to Ross Island Bridge to Hwy. 99E will be the northern detour route. Hwy. 99E to Interstate 205 (Abernethy Bridge) to Hwy. 43 is the southern detour.

River Work

The contractor continues to install parts that will be used to slide the truss span north in January (see attached photos).  Steel cradles are being installed around each bearing point of the truss to help support the span when it is jacked up from the pier tops.  In the next few weeks, a subcontractor will install jacks and other equipment that will be needed to move the span.

Construction of two work bridges on the south side of the bridge continues.  These L-shaped bridges will be used to construct the new bridge in 2013. 

West Side Work

The west approach to the detour bridge is nearly complete, with guardrail, handrail and sidewalk installed. 

Landslide stabilization continues north and south of the bridge.  This work continues through next spring.

East Side Work

Detour Bridge Approach – A fire suppression system was installed under the new east approach this week.

Sellwood Harbor – At the north end of this condominium complex, the contractor has removed a parking structure and utilities and continues building a new end wall where three residential units were removed.  Concrete work is scheduled the next two weeks.  The residences were removed to make space for the new bridge.

Construction Work Hours: Construction will shut down for two stretches during the holidays.  There will be no construction Sunday, December 23 through Wednesday, December 26, except for one concrete placement at Sellwood Harbor on December 26.  Work will also shut down from Sunday, December 30 through New Year’s Day.  The contractor does plan to work the last two Saturdays of the month, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.   Normal weekday work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. 

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us, 503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.  View live construction from our two web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera.


January 17–23 Bridge Closure Scheduled

East detour approach

East detour approach

Field Work update - December 18, 2012

The contractor has scheduled a one-week bridge closure to move the 1100-foot truss span and set up the detour bridge.  The bridge will close early on Thursday, January 17 and is scheduled to reopen by Thursday, January 24.  The truss span will be moved in a full-day operation on Saturday, January 19, weather permitting. 

Hwy. 43 to Ross Island Bridge to Hwy. 99E will be the northern detour route. Hwy. 99E to Interstate 205 (Abernethy Bridge) to Hwy. 43 is the southern detour.

TRAFFIC ALERTS – The speed limit on Highway 43 near the Sellwood Bridge has been reduced to 25 mph.  New speed limit signs have been posted.  The reduced speed limit is in effect from SW Taylors Ferry Road to a half mile south of the bridge. 

River Work

Work Bridge – This will the contractor will install equipment on the river piers that will be used during the bridge move.  Work continues on the work bridges that stretch into the river from the east and west banks, on the south side of the bridge.  These L-shaped bridges will be used to construct the new bridge in 2013. 

West Side Work

On the west approach to the detour bridge, the contractor has installed handrail and guardrail and paved the sidewalk.

Landslide Work – Landslide stabilization continues north and south of the bridge.  This work continues through next spring.

East Side Work

Detour Bridge Approach – Several people have asked about the deck panels that are stacked on the new approach to the detour bridge (see photo above).  The extra panels will be used on the span that will connect to the existing bridge.  This span will be constructed during the January bridge closure.  This week a contractor is extending a fire suppression system under the east approach.

Riverpark condos – Work on the new end townhouse and on common areas north of the bridge has been completed.

Sellwood Harbor – Improvements at the new south gated entrance have been completed.  At the north end, the contractor is building the new end wall where three residential units were removed.

Construction Work Hours: Work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.  The contractor plans to work on most Saturdays (including December 22) leading up to the bridge closure on January 17.  Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. 

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us, 503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.  View live construction from our two web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera.


Sellwood Bridge Construction Update

East approach from bridge

Field work update - December 4, 2012

TRAFFIC ALERTS – The speed limit on Highway 43 near the Sellwood Bridge has been reduced to 25 mph from 35 to 45 mph.  New speed limit signs will be posted this week.  The new speed limit is in effect from SW Taylors Ferry Road to a half mile south of the bridge.  The 25 mph limit is in effect 24 hours a day.  Many construction trucks exit and enter the highway near the bridge and sightlines are limited.  The speed limit was reduced as a safety measure.  Please note that traffic fines double in a construction zone.

The southbound lane of Highway 43 was closed Dec. 3 due to standing water on the highway near a failed culvert.  The lane closure is not related to Sellwood Bridge construction.  ODOT hopes to repair the culvert and reopen the lane this week.

On the evening of Dec. 5 the northbound, outside lane of Hwy. 43 will be closed several hours between the bridge and Macadam Bay floating homes to allow a PGE crew to install streetlight fixtures.

River Work

Work Bridge – The contractor continues construction of the work bridges that stretch into the river from the east and west banks, on the south side of the bridge.  These L-shaped bridges will be used to construct the new bridge in 2013. 

West Side Work

Starting December 6, the contractor will begin installing handrail and then guardrail on the west approach to the detour bridge, which now spans across two lanes of Hwy. 43.   Brief off-peak closures of Hwy. 43 will be needed for delivery of materials.

Haul Road – A construction agreement has been completed with the government consortium that owns the Willamette Shoreline Trolley corridor between Hwy. 43 and the river.  The agreement will allow the contractor to remove the trolley tracks between SW Miles Street and the bridge and build a haul road.  This will reduce truck traffic on Hwy. 43 and improve safety for the contractor and the public.  Some trees will also be removed north of the bridge between the highway and the river as part of this work, which will start later this month.

Hillside Excavation – Highway 43 will be widened as part of this project.  In January the contractor will begin to excavate the slope on the west side of Hwy. 43, starting north of the bridge.  Retaining walls will be built this winter to maintain the stability of the hillside.  Most excavation will happen at night, to reduce the impact on traffic. 

Blasting will occur before 10 pm on some nights, which will require brief closures of Hwy. 43.  Watch future updates for more details.

Landslide Work – Landslide stabilization continues north and south of the bridge.  This work continues through next spring.

East Side Work

Detour Bridge Approach – Erection of steel for the approach spans nearest the existing bridge wraps up this week.  The east approach of the old bridge will tie in with the detour bridge just east of Riverpark Condominiums (see photos below).

Riverpark condos – Finish work inside an unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominiums wraps up this week.  The adjoining townhouse was removed to make room for the new bridge.  The remaining townhouse is under the detour bridge and will be resold after the project is completed.

Sellwood Harbor – Improvements at the new south gated entrance should be completed this week.  At the north end, three unoccupied units have been demolished to make space for the new bridge.  Deconstruction of the garage that was below the units begins this week.

Construction Work Hours: Work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.  The contractor plans to work Saturdays starting Dec. 8 leading up to the bridge move in mid-January.  Saturday work days will be noted in the weekly field work notice.  Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. 

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us, 503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.  View live construction from our two web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera.


TRAFFIC ALERT: High water closes southbound lane of Hwy 43 south of Sellwood Bridge

December 3, 2012
The outside southbound lane of Highway 43 has been closed about 750 feet south of the Sellwood Bridge this afternoon by ODOT, due to standing water from a clogged or damaged culvert.  The lane could be closed until Tuesday evening while ODOT crews repair the problem.  The inside southbound lane and the two northbound traffic lanes of Highway 43 remain open.  The culvert problem is not related to Sellwood Bridge construction.
 
For details, visit ODOT's TripCheck website.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Sellwood Bridge work will impact midday traffic on Hwy. 43

Sellwood Bridge construction will close the northbound sliplane of Highway 43 that passes below the bridge from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today and tomorrow, November 26 and 27.  Northbound traffic will be flagged through the intersection at the west end of the bridge during the closure.  The lane closure is needed to allow trucks to deliver materials for the west approach of the detour bridge being built.  Through traffic can avoid delays by using alternate routes such as SW Terwilliger and SW Taylors Ferry.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Sellwood Bridge work to impact Hwy. 43 on Nov. 19 - 20

On Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 19 – 20, the northbound slip lane of Hwy. 43 that passes under the Sellwood Bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and northbound traffic will be diverted through the intersection.  This will allow construction materials to be delivered for deck sections that are being installed on a detour bridge between Highway 43 and the river.

Sellwood Bridge Construction Update for Nov. 16, 2012

Work bridge pile beams added

Work bridge pile beams added

Field work update - November 16, 2012

River Work

Work Bridge – The contractor continues to cut and cap the work bridge piles and has started to add horizontal beams connecting the piles (see photo). The contractor will use the L-shaped work bridges as a platform to construct the new bridge in 2013.  Work continues on the translation structures that will be used to slide the bridge onto the detour bridge piers in January. 

West Side Work

TRAFFIC ALERT: Detour Bridge Approach – On Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 19 – 20, the northbound slip lane of Hwy. 43 that passes under the bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and northbound traffic will be diverted through the intersection.  This will allow materials to be delivered for the deck sections that are being added to the approach spans between Highway 43 and the river (see photo below). 

Landslide Work – Landslide stabilization continues north and south of the bridge.  This work continues through next spring.

East Side Work

Detour Bridge Approach – Construction of the approach spans continues eastward.  The contractor has constructed beams for the fourth approach span.  The east approach of the old bridge will tie in with the detour bridge just east of Riverpark Condominiums.

Riverpark condos – Finish work continues on the exterior wall and interior of an unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominiums. The townhouse is under the detour bridge and will be resold after the project is completed.

Sellwood Harbor – The north entrance has closed and demolition of three unoccupied northside units is in progress.  The units are being removed to make room for the new bridge.

Historic Bridge Trivia: The Oregonian newspaper called for a grand Sellwood Bridge two decades before the bridge opened in 1925.  Why? The newspaper wanted the Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1905 to be built at Oaks Park, north of the bridge.  City leaders later located the fair in NW Portland, delaying plans for a new bridge in Sellwood.  See a drawing of the Sellwood Bridge proposed in 1901 in the “Did You Know” section of our bridge history website.

Construction Work Hours: Work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.  The contractor does not plan to work during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend.

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us,503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.  View live construction from our two web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera.


TRAFFIC ALERT: Sellwood Bridge work to impact Hwy. 43 on Nov. 16

Traffic on the Sellwood Bridge and on Hwy 43 will be impacted by bridge construction on Friday,  November 16 from 9 am to 3 pm. Trucks will deliver steel for the detour bridge that is being constructed above two lanes of the highway.  The work will require closures of the northbound lane of Hwy 43 and brief closures of traffic in all directions.  At the same time a contractor will close the southbound lane of Hwy 43 between Freeman Motors and the entrance to the former Staff Jennings property to relocate utilities. Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes including Terwilliger/Taylors Ferry and Hwy 99E/Ross Island Bridge.


TRAFFIC ALERT: Sellwood Bridge work to impact Hwy. 43 on Nov. 14

Traffic on the Sellwood Bridge and on Hwy 43 will be impacted by bridge construction today, November 14 from 9 am to 3 pm. The contractor will install concrete deck panels above two lanes of the highway for a detour bridge.  The work will require closures of the northbound lane of Hwy 43 and brief closures of traffic in all directions.  Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes including Terwilliger/Taylors Ferry and Hwy 99E/Ross Island Bridge. The detour bridge has reduced the vertical clearance above the lane that carries westbound bridge traffic south on Hwy 43 from 15 feet, 4 inches to 14 feet, 8 inches.

Sellwood Bridge Construction Update for Nov. 9, 2012

West end of old bridge and detour bridge

Field work update - November 9, 2012

River Work

Work Bridge – The contractor will continue to cut and cap the work bridge piles for the next several weeks.  The L-shaped work bridges will be used to construct the new bridge starting in 2013.  Work continues on the translation structures that will be used to slide the bridge onto the new river piers in January. 

West Side Work

Traffic Alert – Traffic on the bridge and on Hwy 43 will be impacted by bridge construction again on Friday, November 9 from 9 am to 3 pm. The contractor continues to install structural steel above two lanes of the highway for a detour bridge (see photos to right).  The work will require closures of the northbound lane of Hwy 43 and brief closures of traffic in all directions.  Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes including Terwilliger/Taylors Ferry and Hwy 99E/Ross Island Bridge.  Flaggers may hold traffic for a few minutes from 7:30 am - 9 am during other work.

Detour Bridge Approach – The approach spans are quickly taking shape.  Structural steel now spans two lanes of Highway 43.  Steel girders and deck sections will be added to the spans closer to the river in the next few weeks.

Landslide Work – Landslide stabilization continues north and south of the bridge.  The contractor will drill and install more shear piles next week and construct a grade beam that connects a row of piles.

East Side Work

Detour Bridge Approach – Construction of the approach spans continues eastward.  Next week work begins on the fourth approach span. The east approach of the old bridge will tie in with the detour bridge just east of Riverpark Condominiums.

Riverpark condos – Finish work continues on the exterior wall and interior of an unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominiums.

Sellwood Harbor – The new gated south entrance is open, the north entrance has closed and demolition of three unoccupied northside residential units has begun.  The units are being removed to make room for the new bridge.

Construction Work Hours: Work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.  The contractor will work on Veteran’s Day Holiday (Monday, November 12).

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us, 503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.  View live construction from our two web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera.


TRAFFIC ALERT: Sellwood Bridge work to impact Hwy. 43 on Friday, Nov. 9

Traffic on the Sellwood Bridge and on Hwy 43 will be impacted by bridge construction again on Friday, November 9 from 9 am to 3 pm. The contractor continues to install structural steel above two lanes of the highway for a detour bridge.  The work will require closures of the northbound lane of Hwy 43 and brief closures of traffic in all directions.  Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes including Terwilliger/Taylors Ferry and Hwy 99E/Ross Island Bridge.  Flaggers may hold traffic for a few minutes from 7:30 am - 9 am during other work.  The detour bridge has reduced the vertical clearance above the lane that carries westbound bridge traffic south on Hwy 43 from 15 feet, 4 inches to 14 feet, 8 inches.  

For more information, visit www.sellwoodbridge.org

TRAFFIC ALERT: Sellwood Bridge work to impact Hwy. 43 on Nov. 7 - 8

November 7, 2012

Traffic on the Sellwood Bridge and on Hwy 43 will be impacted by bridge construction on Wednesday and Thursday, November 7 - 8.  From 9 am to 3 pm the contractor will install structural steel above two lanes of the highway for a detour bridge.  The work will require closures of the northbound lane of Hwy 43 and brief closures of traffic in all directions.  Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes including Terwilliger/Taylors Ferry and Hwy 99E/Ross Island Bridge.

Flaggers may hold traffic for a few minutes from 7:30 - 9 am during other work.  The highway lane closure cannot begin until 9 am. 

The detour bridge has reduced the vertical clearance above the lane that carries westbound bridge traffic south on Hwy 43 from 15 feet, 4 inches to 14 feet, 8 inches.


TRAFFIC ALERT: Northbound lane closure on Hwy. 43 north of Sellwood Bridge on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1

Field work update - October 31, 2012

The outside northbound lane of Highway 43 north of the Sellwood Bridge will be closed at times today, October 31, between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to allow a utility crew to work on a fiber optic line near the south entrance to Freeman Motors.  The work will not impact access to driveways.

The outside northbound lane will also be closed on Thursday, November 1 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to allow a utility crew to install a new light pole and attach light fixtures to three existing poles.  The work will be on the east side of the highway between the driveway to the former Staff Jennings property and the entrance to Macadam Bay floating homes.  The inside northbound lane will remain open.  Flaggers will direct trail users around the work.  

Utilities are being relocated from the west side of the highway, which will be excavated later this year as part of the Sellwood Bridge replacement.


TRAFFIC ALERT: Highway 43 lane closures for Sellwood Bridge construction today

October 29, 2012

Northbound traffic on Highway 43 near the Sellwood Bridge will be impacted by construction activity today until 3 p.m.  The northbound outside lane will be closed at times between the entrance to Macadam Bay and Freeman Motors to allow a contractor to install overhead wires.  The northbound slip lane under the bridge between Lake Oswego and Portland will be closed until 3 p.m. to allow the contractor to deliver materials for the new detour bridge.  Northbound highway traffic is being flagged through the west intersection with the bridge. 

Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes including Terwilliger/Taylors Ferry and Highway 99E/Ross Island Bridge.


October 26, 2012

East approach to detour bridge

Field Work Update

River Work

Work Bridge – The contractor will continue to cut and cap the work bridge piles for the next several weeks. 

West Side Work

Traffic Impacts –

  • Light Poles:  A utility contractor still needs to install a light pole south of the driveway to the former Staff Jennings property, which will require brief closures of the outside northbound lane between the bridge and the driveway.  This and related utility work could happen on Sat., Oct. 27 or next week.  Weekday lane closures are restricted to between 9 am and 3 pm.  We’ll send out schedule details when we receive them.
  • General:  Traffic congestion near the bridge was very heavy this week.  Additional flaggers have been added at the east end of the bridge and near Macadam Bay to provide additional advance warning for drivers entering the work zone.

Detour Bridge ApproachPile driving was completed for the columns next to the highway.  Next week the contractor will attach horizontal girders to the westernmost approach columns and continue welding other spans.

Landslide Work – Landslide stabilization continues north and south of the bridge.  The contractor may work on Sat., Oct. 27, but this work should not generate significant noise or impact traffic.  Next week the contractor will drill and install shear piles and excavate for a grade beam.

East Side Work

Pier construction – Next week work will focus on the detour bridge pier closest to the east river bank.  This work was rescheduled a week.  Piles will be cut and capped and construction of the column frame will begin.  The contractor will also continue erecting East Approach Column 3 adjacent to Riverpark (see photo below).

Riverpark condos – This week the new end wall of the southern unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominiums was inspected and vapor barrier was installed.  Siding will be installed next week.

Sellwood Harbor – The new gated south entrance and parking area for Sellwood Harbor condominiums is nearing completion.  The north entrance will be closed in the near future, so that work can begin on the north side of the complex, near the bridge.  Residents will be notified about the change of access as soon as the date is confirmed.

Construction Work Hours: Work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. 

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us, 503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.  View live construction from our two web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera.


Sellwood Bridge Construction Traffic Alert for Oct. 26

Field Work Update - October 26, 2012

Traffic on Highway 43 between the Sellwood Bridge and the Macadam Bay driveway to the north will be stopped for about 10 minutes October 26, between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm to allow a utility contractor to install new aerial lines above the highway. The work is required for the Sellwood Bridge project. Utilities need to be moved from the west side of the highway, which will be excavated later this year. Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes, including Terwilliger/Taylors Ferry or Highway 99E/Ross Island Bridge. For more information, visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.


Sellwood Bridge Construction Traffic Alert for Oct. 25

On Thursday, October 25 a utility crew will install a new light pole on the east side of Highway 43 north of the Sellwood Bridge, south of the entrance to the former Staff Jennings property.  Work will begin at 8 a.m.  

There will be brief impacts to the northbound, outside traffic lane north of the bridge. Bicyclists and pedestrians using the trail that crosses the old Staff Jennings entrance may experience brief delays or be routed around the work.


Sellwood Bridge Construction Traffic Alert for Oct. 24

Field Work Update - October 24, 2012

A contractor performing utility work plans several brief closures of Highway 43 north of the Sellwood Bridge on Wednesday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Three closures of 10 minutes or less should be needed to install wires over the highway. The outside northbound lane of the highway will also be closed at times between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. between the bridge and Freeman Motors to complete the work. Poles are being relocated for the Sellwood Bridge project.

Travelers may be able to avoid delays by using alternate routes such as Terwilliger/Taylors Ferry and Highway 99E/Ross Island Bridge.

Pile driving work that required a Highway 43 lane closure was completed Oct. 23.


Sellwood Bridge Construction Traffic Alert for Oct. 23

Field Work Update - October 22, 2012

Traffic at the west end of the Sellwood Bridge at Highway 43 will be impacted by construction from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 23.  For a second day a contractor will be driving piling for a detour bridge very close to the southbound loop lane of Highway 43 just north of the bridge.  The work will require the southbound lane to be closed.  Flaggers will direct traffic around the closed lane.

 Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes including SW Terwilliger/SW Taylors Ferry and Highway 99E/Ross Island Bridge.


Sellwood Bridge Construction Traffic Alert for Oct. 22

Field Work Update - October 22, 2012

Traffic at the west end of the Sellwood Bridge at Highway 43 will be impacted by construction today from 9 a.m. until mid-afternoon.  A contractor is driving piling for a detour bridge very close to the northbound lane of Highway 43 just north of the bridge.  The work will require the northbound lane to be closed.  Flaggers will direct traffic around the closed lane.

Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes including SW Terwilliger/SW Taylors Ferry and Highway 99E/Ross Island Bridge.

UPDATE: Two multiple-vehicle accidents slow Sellwood Bridge traffic

Two multiple-vehicle accidents occurred late this morning in the westbound lane of the Sellwood Bridge, near the westside.  Flaggers are directing two-way traffic on the bridge and the damaged vehicles are being removed.  Traffic is backed up on the bridge east of the accidents and on Highway 43 near the bridge, due to the accidents and bridge construction.  Congestion is expected to continue in the area until about 3 p.m. today.

Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes including SW Terwilliger/SW Taylors Ferry Road and Highway 99E/Ross Island Bridge.


October 19, 2012

Field Work Update

River Work

Work Bridge – Pile driving for two work bridges ended this week, due to the closure of the in-water work period.  Additional piles will be placed for the west bridge in 2013.  In the next few weeks the contractor will cut and cap the piles on the east bridge.  Framing and decking of the east work bridge will happen later this year. 

West Side Work

Traffic Impacts –

  • Sunday, October 21: A utility contractor will install new power poles on the east side of Highway 43 between Freeman Motors and Macadam Bay.  The outside northbound lane of the highway will be closed at times on Sunday.  Poles are being moved from the westside of the highway, which will be excavated this year. 
  • Monday and Tuesday, October 22-23: Pile driving is scheduled for two approach columns for the detour bridge that are very close to the highway.  This work will require brief closures of the adjacent lane on Highway 43. Work on the west approach columns will continue the next two weeks.  
  • General: On some weekdays the contractor needs to flag traffic on the west side due to concrete pours and deliveries.  Concrete pours are scheduled outside of commute hours to prevent delays.  We regret the inconvenience to travelers during construction.

Landslide Work – Landslide stabilization work continues north and south of the bridge.  Next week the contractor will construct, drill and install shear piles.

East Side Work

Pier construction – Pile driving was completed today for the detour bridge pier closest to the east river bank.  The piles will be cut and capped and construction of the column frame will begin next week.

Riverpark condos – The new end wall of the southern unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominiums on the north side of the bridge should be completed next week, when siding is installed. 

Sellwood Harbor – On the south side of the bridge, the new gated south entrance and parking area for Sellwood Harbor condominiums is nearing completion.  The north entrance will be closed in the near future, so that work can begin on the north side of the complex, near the bridge.  Residents will be notified about the change of access as soon as the date is confirmed.

Construction Work Hours: Work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.  No work is scheduled this weekend. 

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us, 503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.  View live construction from our two web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera.


October 12, 2012

Field Work Update

River Work

Work Bridge – Pile driving for two work bridges is scheduled to be completed by October 15.  The contractor will continue the construction of the work bridges for several weeks after pile driving is completed.

West Bank work:

Piles driving is postponed until October 22-23 for the piers near the west bank.  

West Side Work

Traffic Impact – The contractor plans to flag traffic from 9 am to 3 pm at the west end of the bridge on Tuesday October 16 and Thursday, October 18, for concrete pours related to landslide stabilization.  There may also be additional flagging on northbound Hwy 43 next week as well related to equipment movement.

Landslide Work – Landslide stabilization work continues north and south of the bridge.  Next week the contractor will construct, drill and install additional shear piles.

East Side Work

Pier construction – Pile driving will take place October 18-19 on the piers just adjacent to the east bank of the river. Residents should expect noise from this work.

Riverpark condos –The contractor is completing the new end wall of the southern unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominiums.  All work on this unit is expected to be completed in the next two weeks.

Sellwood Harbor –  On the south side of the bridge, the new gated south entrance and parking area for Sellwood Harbor condominiums may be completed by October 19, but more likely the following week.   Then the north entrance will be closed while work shifts to the north side of the complex.  Residents will be notified about the change of access as soon as the date is firm.

Construction Work Hours: Work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.  Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. 

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us, 503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.  View live construction from our two web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera.


October 5, 2012

East approach to detour bridge

East approach to detour bridge

Field Work Update

River Work

Work Bridge – Pile driving for two work bridges is expected to continue seven days a week through October 15.  The contractor is working to place 60 piles for each bridge during this in-water work period.  On October 8 the contractor will drive several pile for the eastside column of the detour bridge near the riverbank in front of Riverplace.  The photo to the right shows river piers for the new detour structure and the beams that will be used to shift the old river spans to the detour bridge.

West Side Work

Traffic Impact – The contractor plans to flag traffic at the west end of the bridge on Saturday night, October 6 during boring for the foundations for the west approach of the detour bridge.  This work will impact traffic between 7 pm Saturday and 6 am on Sunday.  Work continues on other westside approach spans.

Landslide Work – Landslide stabilization work continues north and south of the bridge.  Next week the contractor will construct, drill and install additional shear piles and install a set of ground anchors.

East Side Work

Traffic Impact – On October 9 and 10 flaggers will stop bridge traffic for several minutes while a crane places several 90-foot long steel beams that will form the deck for the east approach to the detour bridge.  The contractor is building the east approach from the river to the east (see photo at right). 

The contractor is completing the new end wall of the southern unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominiums.  On the south side of the bridge, the new gated south entrance to Sellwood Harbor condominiums is expected to be completed by October 16.  Then work will shift to the north side of the complex and the north entrance will be closed.

Construction Work Hours: Work hours through October 15 are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.  Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us, 503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.  View live construction from our two web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera.


October 1, 2012

Work bridge piles

Work bridge piles

Field Work Update

Work Bridge – Pile driving for two work bridges is expected to continue seven days a week through October 15. As the photo shows, three piles are placed at each support point. The two outside piles are angled toward the center, to reduce the need for bracing.

West Side Work

Vertical columns for the westside approach spans for the detour bridge are taking shape (see photo below).

New Path North of Bridge – A new section of path opened for bicyclists and pedestrians between the bridge and the former Staff Jennings property last week. A section of the old path needed to be relocated to make room for the detour bridge.

As the photos show, a concrete curb separates the path from traffic. Users can follow the path south or turn north to connect with the old trail.

Landslide Work -- Landslide stabilization work continues north and south of the bridge. This week the contractor will construct, drill and install a new set of shear piles and install a set of ground anchors.

East Side Work

The east approach columns for the detour bridge are taking shape, starting with those nearest the river (see photo). The first deck sections will be installed the week of October 8.

The project team has moved into a complex of trailers on the south block of Tacoma Street between 6th and Grand.

The contractor continues to rebuild the south end wall of an unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominiums. The end townhouse was removed to make room for the detour bridge and new bridge.

On the south side of the bridge, the new gated south entrance to Sellwood Harbor condominiums is expected to be completed by mid-October. Then work will shift to the north side of the complex.

Construction Work Hours: Work hours through October 15 are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen (503-209-4111). View live construction from our two web cams.


September 21, 2012

Field Work Update

River Work

Work Bridge Construction Begins -- This week the contractor began driving piling for two work bridges that will be used to construct the new Sellwood Bridge. Work bridges are temporary structures contractors use to access areas of the new bridge that are in the river.

The contractor plans to install 60 piles for each work bridge before October 15, when the in-water work period for pile driving ends. Work bridges will extend from the east and west banks to the new bridge piers, which are approximately 450 feet from the edge of water.

This week the contractor installed test piles on the east side to confirm soil conditions. Vibratory and louder impact pile drivers will both be used.

The contractor has shifted to a seven day a week schedule to install the work bridge piling by October 15. Saturday work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours are set by a noise variance permit from the City of Portland.

A barge of pile materials will be delivered Friday afternoon. No pile driving will occur after 6 p.m., but the contractor will work until about 7 p.m. unloading materials.

Work continues on the west side column supporting the detour bridge truss span (Bent 21) and on bracing and connections needed for the bridge move in January 2013.

West Side Work

Vertical columns for the approach spans are rising on the west side and work decks are being added.

Night Work Will Impact Traffic - Night work is scheduled Monday to Thursday, September 24 – 27 to construct a temporary bike path in the ramp from the bridge to southbound Highway 43. Work hours will be from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The north and southbound lanes of Highway 43 under the bridge will be closed during this work. Flaggers will direct motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicycle traffic during work hours. The bridge and Highway 43 will remain open in both directions, but travelers should expect delays or use alternate routes such as the Ross Island Bridge, Taylor’s Ferry or Terwilliger Boulevard.

Landslide Work - Landslide stabilization work this week included pouring concrete for the grade beam connecting a row of underground shear piles and excavating contaminated soils. The contractor plans to work on the landslide on Saturday, September 22 starting at 7 a.m. Next week the contractor will construct, drill and install a new set of shear piles and install a set of ground anchors.

East Side Work

A large crane has moved into position to assist with constructing the columns for the detour bridge approach spans.

At the south block of Tacoma Street between 6th and Grand, construction trailers have been set up and will be occupied next week.

The contractor continues to rebuild the south end wall of an unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominiums. The end townhouse was removed to make room for the detour bridge and new bridge. The new end unit will be unoccupied until the project is completed, when the townhouse will be resold.

Work progresses at Sellwood Harbor condominiums on the south side of the bridge, where a new south entrance is being built. Work is expected to shift to the north side of the complex after the south entrance is completed in October.

Construction Work Hours: Work hours through October 15 are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Evening work is scheduled for the west side September 24 – 28, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

For Project Information: For project information, contact Mike Pullen, 503-209-4111. View live construction from our two web cams at www.sellwoodbridge.org/?p=construction-camera.


September 18, 2012

Field Work Update

A new construction activity starts this week as a contractor begins placing piles for a work bridge that will be used to construct the new Sellwood Bridge.  Work bridges are temporary structures contractors use to access areas of the new bridge that are in the river.

The contractor plans to install 60 piles each for work bridges on the west and east sides of the river this year.  Pile driving for the work bridges will take place between September 19 and October 15, when the in-water work period for pile driving ends.  Each work bridge will extend from the bank to the new bridge piers, which are approximately 450 feet from the edge of water.

Work begins this week (as early as Wednesday afternoon) on pile driving for the east bridge.  The contractor will use vibratory driving at first and impact (louder) driving will be used later to drive piles to full depth.  Some weekend work will be needed to complete this task during the in-water period.  This week's field work notice will have more details on the schedule.


September 14, 2012

Field Work Update

River Work

This week the contractor completed installation of horizontal beams between the old bridge and the last of the detour bridge river piers and welded additions to the fender protecting the downstream side of the detour bridge.

Pile was driven for the main detour bridge pier on the west bank. The geology in this area includes several layers of sediment and rock. Piles had to be driven to a deeper depth that expected to reach refusal. Work next week includes adding bracing at Bent 20 and adding steel beams under the bridge at Bent 19, in preparation for the bridge move in January 2013.

West Side Work

The first above-ground vertical elements of a west approach column for the detour bridge were installed this week. The west approach will continue to take shape in the next month.

A week of night work to construct a temporary bike path in the ramp from the bridge to southbound US43 has been postponed until the week of September 24.

Work continues on the landslide stabilization. Additional test ground anchors were installed and stressed this week. The horizontal grade beam connecting a row of underground shear pile columns was poured. The contractor plans to work Monday evening, September 17 tensioning a test ground anchor. This work should not generate significant noise.

East Side Work

On the north side, more foundations were installed for east approach columns to the detour bridge. The first vertical column elements will be installed next Friday.

The contractor continues to rebuild the south end wall of an unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominium. Work on the wall will continue through this month. The end townhouse was removed to make room for the detour bridge and new bridge.

Work progresses at Sellwood Harbor condominiums on the south side of the bridge, where a new south entrance is being built. The north entrance will be closed when new bridge construction begins later this year.

On the north side of the complex the contractor is building retaining walls where a residence was removed to make room for the new bridge.

Construction trailers have been set up on the south block of Tacoma Street between 6th and Grand. Indoor electrical and plumbing work will be happening at the trailers the next two weeks, including this Saturday, September 15.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Evening work is scheduled for the west side on September 17 and September 24 - 28.

For Project Information: For construction and project information, contact Mike Pullen, 503-209-4111.


September 7, 2012

Field Work Update

River Work

This week the contractor installed horizontal beams between the old bridge and the last of the detour bridge river piers, in preparation for the bridge move in January 2013.  These beams will support the truss spans during the bridge move.  The bridge will need to be closed for a week to move the bridge and set up the new approaches at each end.

Starting Monday pile driving will begin on detour bridge Bent 21 on the west bank.  The contractor will use vibratory driving for several days before using louder impact methods to drive the piles to full depth. Holes have been pre-bored, which will speed next week’s work.  Bent 21 is a major column that will support the west end of the detour bridge truss spans. 

Welding continues next week on the fender on the downstream side of the detour bridge.

West Side Work

The contractor plans to work at night the week of September 17 to construct a temporary bike path and curb in the ramp from the bridge to southbound US 43.  The path needs to be relocated for the detour bridge.  This night work will impact traffic on the bridge and US 43.  We’ll have more details on work hours and traffic impacts next week.

Work continues on the landslide stabilization.  Next week the contractor begins concrete work on the horizontal grade beam that connects a series of vertical shear pile columns underground.  This summer’s dry weather has helped the contractor make progress building this mammoth underground structure to stabilize the hillside.

East Side Work

On the bridge’s north side, the contractor continues to rebuild the south end wall of an unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominium.   The end townhouse was removed to make room for the detour bridge and new bridge. 

The contractor continued removing asphalt for foundations for the east approach columns to the detour bridge this week.  Concrete footings were poured for two approach columns. The contractor will work on foundations for four other columns next week. 

Work progresses on the south side of the bridge at Sellwood Harbor condominiums, where a new south entrance is being rebuilt because the north entrance will be closed during bridge construction later this year.  On the north side of the complex the contractor is building retaining walls where a residence was removed to make room for the new bridge.  Three additional unoccupied units will be removed this fall after the new south entrance is completed.

The first construction trailers will be set up on the south block of Tacoma Street between 6th and Grand next week.  Perimeter fencing will go up after the trailers arrive.  Workers will move into the trailers in late September.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.  Night work is scheduled for the west side September 17 – 21.

For Project Information: For construction and project information, contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us, 503-209-4111).


August 31, 2012

Setting translation beam

Setting translation beam

Field Work Update

River Work

The contractor has installed horizontal beams between the old bridge and several of the detour bridge river piers, in preparation for the bridge move in early 2013 (see photos). These beams will support the truss spans during the bridge move.  The contractor has cleared sandbags around Bent 21 on the west bank in preparation for driving pile that will support the west end of the detour bridge truss spans.  Next week the contractor will complete welding on one of the fender structures on the downstream side of the detour bridge.

West Side Work

Large concrete footings were poured for the first two approach columns for the detour bridges (see photo below).  This week the contractor excavated and installed rebar for shear piles that are part of the landslide stabilization. The shear pile columns are installed underground side by side, then connected at the top by a horizontal beam and anchored to stabilize the hillside. Next week more test ground anchors will be installed and an access ramp will be built to the south side of the old bridge. 

East Side Work

On the north side of the bridge the contractor is rebuilding the south wall of an unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominium in sections (see photo).  This work will continue for two more weeks.

The contractor is saw-cutting and removing asphalt before building foundations for the east approach columns to the detour bridge, where micropiles were installed underground.  Concrete footings will be poured after the asphalt is excavated.  The micropiles are then tensioned at the foundations to provide support for the detour bridge columns.

On the south side of the bridge, concrete has been poured for retaining walls, curbs, sidewalks, and the foundation for the new south gatehouse at Sellwood Harbor condominiums.  The south entrance is being rebuilt because the north entrance will be closed during bridge construction later this year.  On the north side of the complex the contractor is rebuilding the new end wall of Building D.  Three additional unoccupied units will be removed this fall after the new south entrance is completed.

Construction trailers will be set up on the south block of Tacoma St. between 6th and Grand in mid-September.  Fencing will be set up around the block after the trailers arrive.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.  There will be no work on Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd.

For Project Information: For construction and project information, contact Mike Pullen, 503-209-4111.


August 24, 2012

Field Work Update

River Work

Next week the contractor will install horizontal beams between the old bridge and the detour bridge piers. These beams will support the truss spans during the bridge move slated to take place later this year or in early 2013. A one-week bridge closure will be needed to move the truss spans, and the public will be notified prior to the closure.

West Side Work

This week the contractor will continue to excavate and install rebar for shear piles that are part of the landslide stabilization. The shear pile columns will be installed side by side, then connected at the top by a horizontal beam and anchored to stabilize the hillside. There will occasionally be flaggers on the westbound lane of the Sellwood Bridge and on northbound Hwy 43 near the project area, so drivers should use caution in these areas.

East Side Work

On the north side of the bridge the contractor will continue reconstruction on the south wall of an unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark condominium, for the next two weeks.

The contractor will begin saw-cutting- asphalt and grading for the foundation of east approach bents, followed by preparations for pouring concrete next week.

On the south side of the bridge, work will begin to pour retaining walls, curbs and sidewalks, and the foundation for the new gatehouse on the Sellwood Harbor condominium property. The contractor is removing the last wall of Unit D at the north end of the property and rebuilding the wall of the new end unit. Unit D was removed to make room for the new bridge. Three additional unoccupied units will be removed around the end of September after the new south entrance is completed.

Site preparation for contractors’ trailers continues at the south block on Tacoma St. between 6th and Grand, Trailers will be set up in mid-September and the site will be fenced.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Note that there will be no work on Labor Day, September 3rd.

For Project Information: Mike Pullen will be on vacation August 18 – 27. For project questions during this time, please contact KC Cooper (503-499-0489).


August 20, 2012 - Traffic Alert

Field Work Update

A PGE utility crew will close traffic lanes on Hwy. 43 at the west end of the bridge and flag traffic through the intersection on evenings this week to place power lines. Power poles were relocated due to the bridge project. Lane closures are planned overnight Tuesday August 21 through Thursday August 23rd 9 pm to 6 am. Consider using alternate routes such as the Ross Island Bridge, Taylors Ferry and Terwilliger at those times.

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August 19, 2012 - Traffic Alert

Field Work Update

A utility crew will close traffic lanes on Hwy. 43 at the west end of the Sellwood Bridge and flag traffic through the intersection two evenings next week to place power lines. Power poles were relocated due to the bridge construction project. Lane closures are planned Monday, August 20 and Wednesday, August 22 between 9 pm and 6 am. Travelers should consider using alternate routes at those times to avoid delays.


August 17, 2012

Welding rebar cage

Welding rebar cage

Field Work Update

River Work

There was not much work over the river this week, as the contractor loaded a supply of steel onto a barge in Vancouver. For the next two weeks the contractor will install horizontal beams between the old bridge and the detour bridge piers. These beams will support the truss spans during the bridge move. A one-week bridge closure will be needed to move the truss spans and set up the detour bridge. The closure is expected to happen late this year or in early January.

West Side Work

This week the contractor installed the first of many rebar cages for vertical shear piles that are part of the landslide mitigation. The first cage was about 60 feet long and six feet in diameter. This week's photos show the first cage and another cage being welded onsite. The first cage was filled with concrete after it was positioned underground. More shear pile columns will be installed side by side, then connected at the top by a horizontal beam to stabilize the hillside. Diagonal ground anchors that tie in to bed rock are connected to the top of the shear piles.

This week and next week the contractor will work until as late as 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday on the landslide work to take advantage of the dry weather and daylight.

East Side Work

Installation of 26 micropile foundations for the east approach to the detour bridge is expected to be completed at Riverpark by August 22. Several piles were deeper than expected, which caused the contractor to use all the steel on hand. Work stopped for several days until new steel piles could be delivered.

Next week the contractor will begin replacing the south wall of an unoccupied townhouse at Riverpark which will become the new southern unit. The adjoining unit was removed to make room for the new bridge and detour bridge.

On the south side of the bridge, work is focusing on creating a new gated perimeter at the south end of Sellwood Harbor condominiums. The contractor is removing the last wall of Unit D at the north end of the property and rebuilding the wall of the new end unit. Unit D was removed to make room for the new bridge. Three additional unoccupied units will be removed in September after the new south entrance is completed.

Site preparation continues at the south block on Tacoma St. between 6th and Grand, which will house work trailers during bridge construction. The block is being leveled with loads of gravel. A fence should be installed around the site next week. Trailers will be set up in September.

Traffic Alert

A utility crew will close traffic lanes on Hwy. 43 at the west end of the bridge and flag traffic through the intersection two evenings next week to place power lines. Power poles were relocated due to the bridge project. Lane closures are planned Monday, August 20 and Wednesday, August 22 between 9 pm and 6 am. Consider using alternate routes such as the Ross Island Bridge, Taylors Ferry and Terwilliger at those times.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, with westside landslide work continuing until as late as 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays next week. Work hours for eastside condominiums are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Project News: Karen Westphalen is an independent civil engineer who has a blog that tracks construction on the Sellwood Bridge in words and photos. Her latest entry includes a good description of work this summer.

For Project Information: Mike Pullen will be on vacation August 18 – 27. For project questions during this time, please contact K.C. Cooper, 503-919-1194).


August 17, 2012 - Traffic Alert

Field Work Update

Sellwood Bridge construction work is impacting traffic at the west end of the Sellwood Bridge and on Highway 43 this morning.  Flaggers are directing traffic around a work crew at the west end of the bridge.  The operation is expected to be completed by 9:30 a.m.  Drivers can avoid delays by using alternate routes such as the Ross Island Bridge.


Daytime utility work cancelled for Aug. 15

Field Work Update - August 14, 2012

Daytime utility work at the west end of the Sellwood Bridge has been cancelled for tomorrow, Wednesday, August 15, and will be rescheduled at night to reduce impacts to traffic. Crews have installed new temporary power poles this week at the west end of the bridge. Remaining night work includes taking down the old power lines and installing new lines on the temporary poles. The power poles needed to be relocated due to Sellwood Bridge construction.

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Work will impact traffic Aug. 14 & 15

Field Work Update - August 14, 2012

Related articles

Utility work will impact traffic on the Sellwood Bridge and its approaches on SE Tacoma Street and Highway 43 today and tomorrow, August 14 and 15 between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm.

A utility crew is installing new power poles and stringing new electrical wires at the west end of the bridge.  The northbound Highway 43 slip lane under the bridge and the south bound loop ramp from the bridge are closed during the work.  Flaggers will direct traffic coming from all directions at the west end of the bridge. Drivers should consider using alternate routes such as the Ross Island Bridge to avoid delays.


August 10, 2012

Field Work Update

A-frame welding

A-frame welding

River Work

With all the A frame towers installed for the detour bridge river piers, the contractor worked this week on the platforms above several of the towers and on the pier tops of the existing bridge river piers. This week's photo shows welding work at the base of an A frame. Steel for the detour bridge is being loaded onto a barge in Vancouver for delivery to the work zone next week.

West Side Work

Major construction work on the underground landslide stabilization continues. Ground anchors were installed and 60-foot long rebar cages for the shear piles were built this week. The rebar cages will be installed next week. The contractor finished pre-boring through a rock layer for a column for the detour bridge. The foundations for the detour bridge approach columns need to be carefully placed so they do not impact the underground network of anchors that are being installed to hold the hillside in place. Landslide stabilization near the detour bridge needs to occur before the detour bridge can be completed.

East Side Work

The contractor will begin preparing the south block of Tacoma St. between 6th and Grand as a work site next week. Loads of gravel will be delivered to level the site August 13 – 15. Then cyclone fencing will be installed around the site. Office trailers will be set up in September.

Installation of 26 micropile foundations for the east approach to the detour bridge continues at Riverpark. This work is expected to continue through next week

At Riverpark the contractor is completing a shoring wall in Townhouse 2 in preparation for construction of the new south wall. The adjoining Townhouse 1 was removed last month. Next week the contractor will remove the wall and start building the new south wall.

Work continues on a new gated south entrance at Sellwood Harbor Condominiums south of the bridge, since the north entrance will be closed later this year. This week work focused on underground utilities and grading for sidewalks, steps and an ADA ramp. Next week scaffolding will be installed so that the remaining wall of Building D can be removed. ADA concrete ramps and steps will be poured next week.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks. Evening work may be performed on some weeknights for the westside landslide work. Work hours for the eastside condominium properties are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays.

This Week’s Traffic Note: Daytime traffic congestion around the bridge was bad at times this week. The Portland Water Bureau is replacing water mains across Tacoma St. at 7th Avenue. The project is expected to continue for several weeks. For more information, call the Water Bureau at (503) 823-8064.

For Sellwood Project Information: For construction and project information, contact Mike Pullen, (503) 209-4111.


Sellwood Bridge Evening Work on Westside this Week

Field Work Update - August 6, 2012

The contractor working on the landslide mitigation at the west end of the Sellwood Bridge plans to work evenings this week from Monday, August 6 to Thursday, August 9.  Work should be completed by 9 p.m. each night and will generate low to moderate noise levels.  The contractor is drilling and testing ground anchors that will stabilize the hillside to protect the detour bridge and new bridge.


A-frames; ground anchors; micropiles

Field Work Update - August 3, 2012

River Work

The A frame tower for Bent 20 on the west side of the river channel was placed today. Next week the contractor will build up the frame and platform at the top of the A frame. The contractor completed pile driving for the detour bridge river piers this week. The last pile was a challenging one at Bent 21, where an underground boulder required special equipment to bore through. The supply barge has departed to load up steel in Vancouver that will be installed for the bridge move.

West Side Work

Construction of the underground landslide stabilization continues. Landslide work continues into 2013. This week test ground anchors were installed. Work next week will focus on installation of shear piles and ground anchors to stabilize the slope.

East Side Work

Micropile installation

Micropile installation

The contractor has installed two of 26 micropile foundations. These will be tested on August 6 to check the strength of the concrete holding the piles. If the test is successful, the contractor will begin placing the other 24 micropile for the six eastside detour bridge columns at Riverpark. This work is expected to last up to three weeks.

Micropiles are 6-inch diameter holes that are drilled and filled with a steel anchor rod and concrete which are 30 to 60 feet deep. A concrete footing is built on top and finally the rod is tensioned down on top of the footing. The number of micropiles for each column varies from 4 to 6 depending on the column size.

Micropile work is starting west of Riverpark and proceeding east roughly to the east end of Riverpark’s tower, where the detour bridge will tie into the existing bridge approach. Micropile installation will be relatively noisy and may generate dust. The contractor will drape plastic sheeting if needed on the south side of Riverpark during work hours to provide dust protection. The photo below from Richard Poulton shows the sheeting in place during the work.

At Riverpark the contractor is completing demolition of the south side of Townhouse 2. Windows will be added to the south side of Townhouse 2 as it is rebuilt as the new end townhouse. Shoring work behind Townhouse 2 continues next week.

Work continues on a new gated south entrance at Sellwood Harbor Condominiums south of the bridge. An ADA ramp and steps were graded this week and demolition of Building D continued. Next week the focus will be on sidewalks, retaining walls, and underground utilities.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks. Work hours for the eastside condominium properties are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays.

Traffic Note: Several people asked us if the traffic congestion near the bridge on Friday, July 27 was related to our construction. It was not. Serious motor vehicle accidents occurred during the morning and afternoon commutes at the west end of the bridge. Neither accident was related to construction. Traffic alerts about construction are sent to our field work notice list.


Evening work on west side on August 1 and 2

Field Work Update - August 1, 2012

The contractor working on the landslide mitigation at the west side of the Sellwood Bridge plans to work until as late as 9 pm tonight and tomorrow, August 1 and 2, in order to complete the installation of several ground anchors.  The contractor will be moving materials on the site and operating an excavator.  This work will not be as loud as the tree cutting that happened in the spring.


A frame tower; landslide stabilization; wall shoring; new entrance at Sellwoodwood Harbor condos

Field Work Update - July 27-28, 2012

River Work

A frame tower

A frame tower for Bent 18

The A frame tower for Bent 18 was placed today. The photo to the right gives a sense of the size of these towers that will support the detour bridge. Next week the contractor plans to drive the final detour bridge river pile at Bent 21, where an underground boulder has created a challenge. Crews will then be preparing the Bent 21 substructure for the tower.

West Side Work

Construction of the underground landslide stabilization continues. Landslide work continues into 2013. Pile pre-boring at Bents 21 and West Approach 6 continue with an expected completion around August 7th.

East Side Work

Work continues on a shoring wall behind Townhouse 2 at Riverpark Condominiums where Bent 17 for the detour bridge will be built.

Work has also begun on micropile foundations for six eastside detour bridge columns at Riverpark. Micropiles are 6-inch diameter holes that are drilled and filled with a steel anchor rod and concrete which are 30 to 60 feet deep. A concrete footing is built on top and finally the rod is tensioned down on top of the footing. The number of micropiles for each column varies from 4 to 6 depending on the column size.

Work is starting west of Riverpark and proceeding east roughly to the east end of Riverpark’s tower, where the detour bridge will tie into the existing bridge approach. Micropile installation will be relatively noisy and may generate dust. If needed, the contractor will drape plastic sheeting on the south side of Riverpark’s tower during work hours to provide dust protection. The work could last up to three weeks.

Work on a new gated south entrance continues at Sellwood Harbor Condominiums south of the bridge. Next week the focus will be on concrete work for the access ramp walls and demolition of Building D, facing the river immediately south of the bridge.

Update for July 28th

A contractor working on the Sellwood Bridge project will need to work on the east side of the river on Saturday, July 28 from 8 am until the early afternoon. The contractor is installing several test micro piles for the east approach to the detour bridge. The Saturday work will be in the driveway area of the former Riverpark Townhouse 1. The work could not be completed on Friday. The contractor will place grout and pile in a hole that has already been drilled. We regret any inconvenience to bridge neighbors caused by this weekend work and apologize for the short notice.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks. Work hours for the eastside condominium properties are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays.

For Sellwood Project Information: For construction and project information, contact Mike Pullen, (503) 209-4111.


Pile driving; west side slideshow; townhouse deconstruction; bridge history; final design approved

Field Work Update - July 23, 2012

River Work

The contractor has made good progress driving the detour bridge river piles. A single pile will be driven today and the last river pile for the detour bridge will be driven later this week. This week the contractor will cut off piles, install helmet caps, and fill pile gaps with pea gravel. This work continues next week, when the contractor will also begin driving pile for Bent 17 on the eastbank, west of Riverpark Condominiums.

West Side Work

Construction of the underground landslide stabilization continues. Local blogger and engineer Karen Westphalen has created an informative slide show that describes this work in more detail. Landslide work continues into 2013.

East Side Work

The southernmost townhouse at Riverpark Condominiums north of the bridge has been removed and the contractor has also removed sections of Townhouse 2, which will be rebuilt as the new end unit. Work continues on a shoring wall behind Townhouse 2 where a Bent 17 for the detour bridge will be built.

Townhouse 1 was removed to make room for the detour bridge and the new bridge, while Townhouse 2 was acquired temporarily because it will be under the detour bridge for three years.

On July 25 work begins on the micropile foundations for six east side detour bridge columns at Riverpark. Micropiles are 6-inch diameter steel piles installed underground at 30 to 60 feet depth. The contractor drills a hole, removes soil, places micropile, and fills the hole with concrete. A concrete footing is built on top and finally the piles are tensioned to add strength. The number of micropiles for each column varies from 4 to 6 depending on the column size.

Work will start at the column west of Riverpark and proceed to the east. Micropile installation will be some of the noisiest work near neighbors this year. The work could last up to three weeks. We will have more schedule details later this week.

At Sellwood Harbor Condominiums south of the bridge the contractor is preparing a new gated south entrance. Work this week includes concrete placement for a ramp and walls and installation of utilities. Interior demolition begins this week of the riverside condominium closest to the bridge. Structural demolition of the unit is scheduled next week.

Sellwood Bridge History: Ever wonder why the old Sellwood Bridge has such a frugal design? Or why the Sellwood neighborhood was selected as the site for a bridge in the 1920’s? Find out at the new Bridge History section of the Sellwood Bridge website. The site features stories about the old Spokane St. ferry, the political scandal that surrounded the first bridge, and the structural problems that led to today’s bridge replacement project.

Other Project News: Multnomah County commissioners approved the final design for the new Sellwood Bridge last week. Today’s Oregonian features an article about the public art for the project, which includes a series of folded steel columns on SE Tacoma St. between 6th Ave. and Grand Ave. that will form a gateway to the Sellwood neighborhood.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks. Work hours for the eastside condominium properties are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays.

For Sellwood Project Information: For construction and project information, contact Mike Pullen or (503) 209-4111.


Pile driving "bubble curtain"; eastside deconstruction

Field Work Update - July 13, 2012

River Work

Bubble curtain

Bubble curtain around pile driver

Pile driving on the detour bridge river piles began July 10. The pile driving work tends to happen in 15 – 20 increments. This work continues next week. The photo shows the bubble curtain in place around the pile driver. The bubbles help contain vibrations from the impact hammer that can disturb fish.

Next week the contractor will install containment around Bent 21 of the detour bridge on the west side.

West Side Work

Construction of the landslide stabilization continues. More ground anchors were installed this week. The graphic below shows how the structure will look underground when completed. Landslide work continues into 2013.

East Side Work

Deconstruction of the southernmost townhouse at Riverpark Condominiums on the north side of the bridge should be completed on Monday. The structure is being removed to make room for the detour bridge and the new bridge.

Work at Sellwood Harbor condominiums on the southeast side of the bridge is focusing on constructing a new gated south entrance. The north entrance from Spokane Street will be closed for several years during construction of the new bridge. The north entrance will be closed after work is completed on the south entrance. Work next week includes utility work, concrete wall and sidewalk work, removal of a gatehouse, and the start of interior demolition of a housing unit in Building D.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks. Work hours for the eastside condominium properties are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays.

For Sellwood Project Information: For construction and project information, contact Mike Pullen, (503) 209-4111.


Sellwood Bridge In-Water Work Resumes July 10

Field Work Update - July 10, 2012

In-water construction is scheduled to resume on the Sellwood Bridge project on Tuesday, July 10. Environmental rules restrict in-water work to several times of the year when threatened migratory fish species are not present in this part of the river.

On July 10 the contractor plans to begin driving piles for the detour bridge river piers using impact methods. During the winter in-water work period, only vibratory pile driving was permitted. The vibratory hammer creates a constant drone sound, while the impact hammer makes noise on the upstroke and on the downstroke when the hammer hits the pile head.

The contractor is currently working a four-day, Monday to Thursday schedule. The pile driving work is likely to start around 7:30 am and end before 6 pm on those days. We will have updates on this work in our weekly field work notices.


Pile driving July 10; east side deconstruction; public art forum July 12

Field Work Update - July 6, 2012

River Work

The in-water work period began July 1 for all work except pile driving, which can begin on July 10. The "A" frame towers for detour bridge river piers were barged to the site on July 5. On July 10 the contractor will begin driving detour bridge piles that did not reach full depth during the winter in-water work period, when pile driving was not allowed.

Work continues on the existing bridge in preparation for the detour bridge.

Work continues on the existing bridge in preparation for the detour bridge.

Work continues on the existing bridge where the contractor is building platforms and foundations for the steel beams that will be used to slide the truss spans to the detour bridge (see photo).

West Side Work

Construction of the landslide stabilization continues. This week contaminated soil was excavated and removed, and general site excavation was made for a soldier pile wall adjacent to the existing bridge. Drilling of horizontal anchors will start again next week. Landslide work continues for several months.

East Side Work

The contractor worked on the north side of the bridge by the river this week where a shoring wall is being built. This will support drilling equipment that will be used to install a column for the detour bridge. Placement of fill behind the shoring wall and additional lagging will be placed next week.

Deconstruction of the southernmost townhouse at Riverpark Condominiums on the north side of the bridge continues next week. The structure is being removed to make room for the detour bridge and the new bridge.

Next week work shifts to the Sellwood Harbor condominiums on the southeast side of the bridge, where the contractor is constructing a new gated south entrance. The north entrance from Spokane Street will need to be closed for several years due to construction of the new bridge. The north entrance will be closed after work is completed on the south entrance. Work next week includes installation of temporary fencing, tree protection, erosion control, utility work, clearing vegetation, and removal of some minor surface obstructions.

Community Forum for Bridge Public Art

A community forum on the public art project for the new Sellwood Bridge will be held Thursday, July 12 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Oaks Park Dance Pavilion. The public art will be funded by the City of Portland, as part of the city’s larger funding contribution to the project. The Regional Arts and Culture Council manages the public art project. Artist Mikyoung Kim will present her concept for the Sellwood Bridge Project. Kim, an award-winning international landscape architect and artist, will talk about her past work and present her concept, the "Stratum Project," for community feedback.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks. Work hours for the eastside condominium properties are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays.

For Sellwood Project Information: For construction and project information, contact Mike Pullen, (503) 209-4111.


In-water work; bridge art forum; security in Powers Marine Park

Field Work Update - June 29, 2012

River Work

Aerial photograph of bridge

Photo of the Week: Thanks to ODOT staff for providing this aerial photo that shows recent construction activity.

Work continues on the existing bridge where the contractor is building platforms and foundations for the steel beams that will be used to slide the truss spans to the detour bridge. Next week the contractor will hang brackets to support the steel beams.

In-water work begins July 1 for all work except pile driving, which can begin on July 10. The “A” frame towers for detour bridge river piers will be barged to the site in early July. On July 10 the contractor will begin driving detour bridge piles that did not reach full depth during the last in-water period, when pile driving was not allowed.

West Side Work

Construction of the landslide stabilization continues. Contaminated soil will be removed next week, ground anchors will be installed, and a shoring wall built. Landslide work continues for several months.

East Side Work

The contractor continues working on the north side of the bridge by the river where a shoring wall is being built. This will support drilling equipment that will be used to install a column for the detour bridge.

The contractor has begun work to demolish the southernmost townhouse at Riverpark Condominiums on the north side of the bridge. The interior will be demolished first, then the exterior siding and windows will be removed. The exterior structure will be deconstructed in July. The structure is being removed to make room for the detour bridge and the new bridge.

On the south side of Tacoma St. at SE 6th Ave., demolition of several small commercial buildings continues in preparation for moving construction trailers onsite this summer.

Community Forum for Bridge Public Art

A community forum on the public art project for the new Sellwood Bridge will be held Thursday, July 12 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Oaks Park Dance Pavilion. The public art will be funded by the City of Portland, as required by city ordinance. The Regional Arts and Culture Council manages the public art project. Artist Mikyoung Kim will present her concept for the Sellwood Bridge Project. Kim, an award-winning international landscape architect and artist, will talk about her past work and present her concept, the "Stratum Project," for community feedback.

Security in Powers Marine Park

Portland Parks and Recreation staff have reported illegal camping and camp fire in Powers Marine Park in recent weeks. Powers Marine Park is the long, narrow forested park that lies between Highway 43 and the river. The park stretches from the Sellwood Bridge to the Portland city limit to the south. Bridge construction has eliminated parking for the park. In cooperation with Multnomah County, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has closed the park until the bridge project is completed in early 2016.

PP&R Park Rangers and staff are monitoring the park for illegal activity such as camping or cook fires during the park closure.

One thing neighbors can do to help reduce crime and damage to the park is to call authorities if you see suspicious activity, such as camp fires.

You may report suspicious activities to Portland Parks & Recreation Park Rangers at 503-823-1637, or log on to Park Scan to leave a comment or suggestion. Please call 911 for emergencies.

We appreciate the community's assistance in reporting any problems in the park.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks. No work is planned on the July 4th holiday. Work hours for the eastside condominium properties are from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays.

For Sellwood Project Information: For construction and project information, contact Mike Pullen, (503) 209-4111.


Lanslide mitigation; eastside building deconstruction

Field Work Update - June 22, 2012

Platfroms for steel translation beams.

Platfroms for steel translation beams.

River Work

Work continues on the existing bridge where the contractor is building platforms and foundations for the steel beams that will be used to slide the truss spans to the detour bridge (see photo). Recent work includes concrete core drilling. This work will continue the next few weeks.

Landslide mitigation work.

Landslide mitigation work.

West Side Work

Installation and stress testing of ground anchors that will help stabilize the landslide continues on the north side of the bridge. An interesting aspect of this work is that the contractor needs to balance the hillside’s weight to keep the slide zone stable during construction. As excavated soil is removed the contractor adds gravel to maintain the weight (see photo). Next week work begins on a shoring wall. The landslide mitigation work will continue for several months.

East Side Work

The contractor has been busy on the riverside trail north of the bridge where a shoring wall is being built to support drilling equipment that will be used to install a column for the detour bridge. 

This week the contractor removed a sidewalk and driveway in the construction zone at Riverpark Condominiums on the north side of the bridge, where a crane will work on the detour bridge. The contractor plans to begin removal of the southernmost vacant townhome at Riverpark late next week. Gas lines for neighboring townhomes were relocated this week. 

With construction activity picking up in this area that is very close to residences, members of the public are reminded to not enter the construction zone for their own safety.

Demolition of several small commercial buildings on the north south side of Tacoma St. at SE 6th Avenue continues in preparation for moving construction trailers onsite next month.

Construction Work Hours:  Normal work hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks. Work hours for the eastside condominium properties are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays.  No work is scheduled on the July 4th holiday. 

A Note About Night Work:  Several people have asked us about construction work that takes place after 6 p.m.  With the exception of work on the eastside condominiums, the contractor is allowed to work at any hour of the day.  Normal work hours are 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. weekdays.

The limiting factor for work hours is construction noise.  At night the contractor has to work within lower noise limits.  The City of Portland has granted the contractor permission to do work below a certain decibel level on a limited number of nights.  Monitors are placed near residences to measure the noise level of night work.  No night work is scheduled in the next few weeks.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen (503) 209-4111.


East side column drilling; traffic and the trolley

Field Work Updates - June 18, 2012

River Work

Work continues on the existing bridge where the contractor is building platforms and foundations for the steel beams that will be used to slide the truss spans to the detour bridge. Work at the top of the concrete river piers continues the next two weeks.

West Side Work

Excavation for the ground anchors that will be part of the landslide mitigation structure has begun and the drilling team is installing the anchors. This work will continue for several months as the contractor constructs a large underground structure to stabilize the hillside around the bridge.

East Side Work

The riverside trail north of the bridge has been widened in preparation for bringing in large equipment to build a detour bridge column. Drilling for this column is scheduled to begin on June 21. Precast panels for the detour bridge deck have been delivered to the Spokane St. construction yard.

Demolition of several small commercial buildings on the north south side of Tacoma St. at SE 6th Avenue has begun and will continue this week. After the buildings are removed, this block will house construction trailers for the next few years.

Building permits have been issued and a construction contract signed so that work on Riverpark and Sellwood Harbor condominiums can begin. Work is expected to start this week. One of the first tasks will be to remove a driveway and sidewalk in front of a townhouse at Riverpark that was acquired for the project. Gas meters will also be relocated for several adjacent units late this week.

Notes on Traffic and the Trolley

Traffic on the Sellwood Bridge has been impacted lately by a construction project that is not related to the bridge work. The Portland Water Bureau is doing construction along SE 7th Avenue and SE Tacoma that reduces traffic to one lane using flaggers. This work is expected to continue the next two weeks.

As we’ve noted before, tracks for the historic Willamette Shore trolley have been removed in the westside construction zone. Later this year the tracks will be removed from the bridge to SW Miles St. at the SW Taylors Ferry intersection. The project will replace all the tracks when construction is complete. The vintage trolley service will not operate during the bridge construction period.

Construction Work Hours: Normal work hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks. Work hours for the eastside condominium properties are from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays.


Erosion control; landslide work begins; continued tree removal

Field Work Update - June 8, 2012

River Work

Work continues on the existing bridge where the contractor is building platforms and foundations for the steel beams that will be used to slide the truss spans to the detour bridge.  Work at the top of the concrete river piers continues the next two weeks.

West Side Work

Erosion control measures were set up and inclinometers have been installed to measure ground movement.  A subcontractor removed contaminated soil within the trolley right of way south of Staff Jennings, where landslide work will begin.  Excavation for the ground anchors that will be part of the landslide mitigation structure have begun and the drilling team that will install the ground anchors are mobilizing onsite.

Next week erosion control, excavation and installation for ground anchors, and mobilization of the drill operation will continue.

East Side Work

This week tree removal began on the north side of the bridge, along the river and at Riverpark Condominiums.  The widening of the riverside trail north of the bridge has begun, in preparation for construction of a detour bridge column. A construction driveway from SE Spokane St. to the construction yard adjacent to the railroad tracks was completed.  Next week work continues to widen the riverside trail.  On June 12 – 13, precast panels for the detour bridge deck will be delivered to the Spokane St. construction yard for storage. 

Work on Riverside and Sellwood Harbor condominiums is expected to begin shortly, after city building permits are issued and a contract is signed.  The project will deconstruct some units and set up a construction zone onsite this summer.

Construction Work Hours:  Normal work hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks.


Transition beams; landslide mitigation; erosion control

Field Work Update - June 1, 2012

River Work

Work continues on the existing bridge where the contractor is building platforms and foundations for the steel beams that will be used to slide the truss spans to the detour bridge.  Work at the top of the concrete river piers continues the next two weeks.

Land Based Work

Eastside work completed this week included removal of trees south of the bridge on the east side of Highway 43 and removal of 1500 feet of trolley track south of Staff Jennings.  Landslide mitigation work will begin in this area in June.

Erosion control measures will be set up next week on the westside as well as inclinometers that measure ground movement.  A subcontractor will remove contaminated soil within the trolley right of way south of Staff Jennings, where landslide work will take place.  Excavation for the ground anchors that will be part of the landslide mitigation structure starts June 7. The drilling team that will install the ground anchors will mobilize on site June 7.

Construction Work Hours:  7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks.


Night work on Highway 43 near Sellwood Bridge tonight

Multnomah County Press Release - May 29, 2012

Tree clearing work will take place along Highway 43 south of the Sellwood Bridge tonight between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. The trees that will be removed are between the highway and the Willamette Shore trolley line. This work will require brief closures of the highway south of the bridge tonight.

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Transition beams; track and tree removal; bird protection

Field Work Update - May 25, 2012

River Work

Work is shifting to the existing bridge where the contractor is building platforms and foundations for the steel beams that will be used to slide the truss spans to the detour bridge. This work at the top of the concrete river piers continues the next few weeks.

Land Based Work

The project has received permits that will allow work to proceed in several areas on the west side. Fifteen hundred feet of trolley tracks are being removed south of Staff Jennings in preparation for the landslide mitigation work. Konell Construction is completing earth removal at the former trolley trestle that will improve access for large construction equipment.

Tree clearing will take place on Tuesday night, May 29 from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. The trees that will be removed are south of the bridge between Highway 43 and the trolley line. This work will require brief closures of the highway on the south side of the bridge Tuesday night. Trees will be removed during the day on May 30 – 31 in the landslide mitigation area south of the former Staff Jennings building.

This week the project received a permit to begin work on the detour bridge on the east side. A building permit to begin work at RiverPark Condominiums is expected to be issued soon. Land-based work on the eastside should begin in June.

Protecting Birds

Some bridge neighbors have asked about workers that have been seen removing swallow nests from the river piers of the existing bridge. These workers are employed by the Wildlife Services division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service. They monitor areas where our construction will take place to prevent migratory birds from nesting and hatching eggs.

This work maintains compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by removing nests before eggs or young are present. None of the swallow nests that have been removed from the bridge had any eggs or young present. The nests are removed before they are completed and occupied.

Nests have been removed from the river piers of the existing bridge because the contractor is working nearby in preparing for moving the truss spans to the detour bridge (described above).

The staff who do this work are experienced wildlife professionals. They have been monitoring the work zone for bird nests since March. Only nests that are in areas where construction will occur during this nesting season will be removed.

Construction Work Hours: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks. Night work is scheduled Tuesday, May 29 on the west side south of the bridge for tree removal work.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen or (503) 209-4111. The project hotline is (503) 988-4884.


"A" frame at Bent 19; construction crane

Field Work Update - May 18, 2012

River Work

The contractor completed welding the tall “A” frame at river pier Bent 19 this week.

phase3/blog/20120518.jpg

Construction crane that will be used for the east approach.

Land Based Work

The construction crane that will be used to build the east approach to the detour bridge arrived in parts and was installed this week in the staging area on SE Spokane St.

On the west side, Konnell Construction is removing the embankment near the former trolley trestle to allow access for larger construction equipment.

In the past week the project received two permits that will allow work on the westside landslide mitigation to begin. That work could begin as early as next week.

Construction Work Hours: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen at (503) 209-4111. The project hotline is (503) 988-4884.


Work updates: River, land work; Security in Powers Marine Park

Field Work Update - May 10, 2012
"A" frame installed at river pier Bent 19

"A" frame installed at river pier Bent 19

River Work

The tall “A” frame was installed at river pier Bent 19 today (see photo below).  Welding and inspection of the A frame are scheduled for next week.  A frames for the other detour bridge river piers will be installed this summer.

Land Based Work

A driveway was constructed for the construction staging area on SE Spokane St. this week.  Early next week a construction crane will be delivered to the staging area.  It will arrive in parts and be assembled over several days.  The crane will be used to build the east approach to the detour bridge this summer.

Security in Powers Marine Park

Powers Marine Park is the long, narrow forested park that lies between Highway 43 and the river. The park stretches from the Sellwood Bridge to the Portland city limit to the south.  Bridge construction has eliminated parking for the park.  In cooperation with Multnomah County, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has closed the park until the bridge project is completed in early 2016. 

There have been concerns that illegal camping and fires may increase in the park during the closure.  PP&R Park Rangers and staff will continue to monitor the park for illegal activity. 

One thing neighbors can do to help reduce crime and damage to the park is to call authorities if you see suspicious activity, such as camp fires. 

You may report suspicious activities to Portland Parks & Recreation Park Rangers at 503-823-1637, or log on to Park Scan at http://parkscanpdx.org/ to leave a comment or suggestion. Please call 911 for emergencies.

We appreciate the community’s assistance in reporting any problems in the park.

Public Meeting on Macadam Bay Access and Regional Trail

A public meeting on Thursday, May 17 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm will provide an opportunity for public comment on access alternatives for the Macadam Bay floating home community and the alignment of the regional trail between the bridge and SW Miles Street.  The meeting will be held at the Oaks Park Dance Pavilion, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. 

The new westside interchange will require a new location for the Macadam Bay access.  A related design decision is the alignment of the portion of the regional trail the project will construct between Macadam Bay and SW Miles Street. The meeting will include a brief presentation and opportunities for the public to present comments to project committees, staff and representatives from decision making agencies.

Construction Work Hours:  7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen, mike.j.pullen@multco.us or (503) 209-4111.  The project hotline is (503) 988-4884.


Work updates; Macadam Bay access and regional trail meeting

Field Work Update - May 4, 2012

River Work

Installation of the tall “A” frame attached to the pier cap at Bent 19 is scheduled for May 9 -10. “A” frames for the other detour bridge river piers will be installed this summer.

Land Based Work

Additional progress has been made on obtaining a land use permit from the City of Portland that is needed before work can begin. The county is also negotiating an agreement that will allow work to begin along the trolley line on the west side of the bridge. Construction activity will pick up quickly after these agreements are completed.

Public Meeting on Macadam Bay Access and Regional Trail

A public meeting on Thursday, May 17 from 5:30 -7:30 pm will provide an opportunity for public comment on access alternatives for the Macadam Bay floating home community and the alignment of the regional trail between the bridge and SW Miles Street. The meeting will be held at the Oaks Park Dance Pavilion, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way.

Postcard invitations will be mailed next week to property owners, businesses and residents in the Sellwood Bridge/Hwy 43 interchange area. An email invitation will be sent to our project contact list.

The new westside interchange will require a new location for the Macadam Bay access. A related design decision is the alignment of the portion of the regional trail the project will construct between Macadam Bay and SW Miles Street. The meeting will include a brief presentation and opportunities for the public to present comments to project committees, staff and representatives from decision making agencies.

Construction Work Hours: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays for the next few weeks.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen (503) 209-4111. The project hotline is (503) 988-4884.


Student bridge models; A frame installation; tree removal

Field Work Update - April 27, 2012

Students and Sellwood Bridge model.

Students and Sellwood Bridge model.

Students Complete Sellwood Bridge Models - Perhaps the coolest thing that happened on the project this week involved a team of four high school students from the ACE Academy, a charter school in NE Portland that has a curriculum focused on architecture, construction and engineering. For their senior project, the students designed and built scale models of the existing and new Sellwood Bridges, including the detour structure.

Members of the project team who worked with the students were highly impressed by the professional quality of the models. The students participate in the Sellwood Bridge project’s school-based outreach program, which uses the bridge project as a learning opportunity for local K-12 schools.

On Thursday the students brought the six foot long models to the County Board meeting and explained how they did it. The models will be on display at a county building later this year. Congratulations to students Joshua Coon, Logan Evans, Ryan Kennell and Valerie Cecchini and their instructors for a job well done!

River Work

Installation of the tall “A” frame attached to the pier cap at Bent 19 is scheduled for May 9. A frames for the other detour bridge river piers will be installed this summer.

Westside Work

Tree Removal: Night-time tree removal work on the west side of Highway 43 has been completed. This week several trees within the loop ramp from the bridge to Lake Oswego were removed and scenic trees that will remain to the south were flagged for protection.

Trees that are removed will be replaced with native species during the project. For more information, visit http://www.sellwoodbridge.org/trees.

Eastside Work

Access for East Approach: Progress is being made on the land use permit the City of Portland needs to issue before this work can begin. The riverside path needs to be widened to bring in equipment to construct a column for the detour bridge.

Work Hours: Work hours in the next weeks are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen, (503) 209-4111.


Bent 19 A-frame; tree removal

Field Work Update - April 20, 2012

River Work

Bent 19 A-frame.

Bent 19 A-frame.

The tall "A" frame that will be attached to the pier cap at Bent 19 was delivered last week. The contractor plans to installed the A frame next week. The other A frames for the detour bridge river piers will be installed this summer.

Westside Work

Tree Removal: Night-time tree removal work on the west side of Highway 43 should be completed early next week. Trees have been removed north and south of the bridge and tonight several trees within the loop ramp from the bridge to Lake Oswego will be removed. Work hours are 9 p.m. to as late as 6 a.m. weeknights.

Next week daytime tree removal will begin on the west side between Highway 43 and the river, in the bridge area. This work can occur during the day because it does not impact traffic. Trees need to be removed here before work on the landslide repair can begin. The contractor will flag and protect scenic and special trees in this area before removal begins.

Last weekend members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde collected several yew trees and the bark of several cedar trees from the work zone. The Willamette Valley Treaty from the 19th century gives rights to the tribes for natural resources that are used in traditional items, such as medicine and clothing. According to the tribes, this was the first time trees in the metro area have been recovered for tribal use. For more information, see this KOIN TV news story.

Trees that are removed will be replaced with native species during the project. For more information, visit http://www.sellwoodbridge.org/trees.

Eastside Work

Access for East Approach: The widening of the riverside trail between SE Spokane Street and the bridge remains on hold pending a Portland land use permit. This work will allow the contractor to bring in equipment to construct a column for the detour bridge.

Work Hours: Work hours in the next weeks are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays. Tree removal work happens on weeknights from 9 p.m. - 6 a.m. on the west side, but should be completed early next week.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen, (503) 209-4111.


Tree, trestle removal

Field Work Update - April 13, 2012

River Work

High water prevented the contractor from working on the detour bridge river piers last week. The water rose several feet above the work zone. The river level fell this week and the contractor was able to resume removing debris, inspecting welds and welding on the center river pier (Bent 19).

Next week the contractor plans to install the tall “A” frame at Bent 19 that sits atop the pier cap. The other A frames will be installed on river piers this summer, after work is completed on the river piles.

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English ivy covering trees along Hwy 43.

Tree removal on Hwy. 43.

Tree removal on Hwy. 43.

Westside Work

Tree Removal: Tree removal work on the west side of Highway 43 north of the bridge is nearly complete. In the next week the contractor will begin removing trees from the west side of the highway south of the bridge.

Tree removal work is at night, to minimize disruption to traffic on Highway 43 and the bridge. Work hours are Monday to Friday from 9 p.m. to as late as 6 a.m. During the work highway and bridge traffic can be delayed up to 20 minutes while trees are felled and removed. Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes such as S.W. Terwilliger and S.W. Taylors Ferry Road on the west side, or S.E. McLoughlin and the Ross Island Bridge on the east side.

Daytime lane closures on Highway 43 have not been needed so far.

Noise levels are always a concern during night work near residences. Electronic noise monitors are placed by residences near the work zone on the west and east sides of the river. County staff and the contractor also take noise readings with handheld monitors by residences, especially if a complaint is received. The project’s noise variance permit allows noise levels in the 74 - 76 decibel range. The highest average noise ranges detected near residences have been in the 58 - 60 range, with one brief reading above 60.

To report a noise complaint, call 503-988-4884.

In preparation for landslide stabilization work between the highway and the river near the bridge, the contractor will flag and protect scenic and special trees in the work zone next week.

Trees that are removed will be replaced with native species during the project. For more information, visit http://www.sellwoodbridge.org/trees.

Trestle removed at the northwest side of the bridge.

Trestle removed at the northwest side of the bridge.

Trestle Removal: The trolley trestle over the former Staff Jennings driveway was removed last week. This will allow cranes and other large equipment to access the worksite. The trestle will be replaced and trolley service can resume when the project is completed.

Eastside Work

Access for East Approach: The widening of the riverside trail between SE Spokane Street and the bridge is on hold pending a Portland land use permit. This work will allow the contractor to bring in equipment to construct a column for the detour bridge.

The contractor set up tree protection and related signage on the eastside.


Work Hours: Work hours in the next weeks are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays. Tree removal work happens on weeknights from 9 p.m. - 6 a.m. on the west side of Highway 43.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen or (503) 209-4111.


Westside tree and trestle removal; eastside approach access

Field Work Update - April 6, 2012

River Work: Next week the contractor will continue installing the helmet caps, weld beams, and install framing that will support the upper pier structure, and framing for the detour bridge bents. The work is weather and water level dependent.

Westside Work

  • Tree Removal: Tree removal is expected to begin April 9. There will be several (3-4) weeks of tree removal, starting just north of the cemetery and continuing north along the west side of Hwy 43 to towards Taylors Ferry. Tree removal will occur at night, Monday through Friday from 9 pm to 6 am. Since the work requires lanes to be closed on Highway 43. There may be complete closures of Hwy 43 overnight in 20 minute increments to move the trees to the east side of Hwy 43 where they will be removed or chipped. Chipping of smaller trees will happen during daytime hours. The trees will be replaced with native species after the highway interchange is rebuilt. For more information, see our fact sheet at http://www.sellwoodbridge.org/trees.
  • Trestle Removal: The trolley trestle over the former Staff Jennings driveway will be removed to allow cranes and other equipment to access the worksite. The trestle will be replaced when the Project is completed.

Eastside Work

  • Access for East Approach: The contractor will build an access to the east side detour bridge approach area by widening the riverside trail between SE Spokane Street and the bridge in order to bring in equipment to construct a column for the detour bridge. Work includes drilling just west of the Riverpark Condos to install earthwork supports.

Work Hours: Work hours in the next weeks are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. There will be night work from 9 pm – 6 am for tree removal on the west side of Hwy 43, which could start as early as next week.

Noise Variance: The Portland Noise Review Board issued a variance permit for the rest of the four-year project. In the next year the contractor is permitted to work a maximum of 25 Sundays and 88 nights. Permitted noise levels are lower between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The board will review the permit and the contractor’s performance each year. The contractor will monitor noise during the work to ensure it is within permitted levels.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen (503) 209-4111.


Tree removal; trestle removal; painting at condos

Field Work Update - March 30, 2012

River Work:  Next week horizontal beams will be attached for the helmet cap that will support the upper pier structure.

Westside Work:

Tree Removal:  Tree protection inspection is happening in the next week to finalize permits before tree removal can begin on the west side of Highway 43.  Tree removal is slated to begin April 9, but may start sooner depending on permitting. Expect several weeks of tree removal, starting with the hillside between Taylors Ferry Road and the bridge.  Tree removal will occur at night, since the work requires lanes to be closed on Highway 43. There may be complete closures of Hwy 43 overnight in 20 minute increments to move the trees to the east side of Hwy 43 where they will be removed or chipped. Chipping of smaller trees will happen during daytime hours. The trees will be replaced with native species after the highway interchange is rebuilt.

Trestle removal:  The trolley trestle over the former Staff Jennings driveway will be removed to allow cranes and other equipment to access the worksite.  The trestle will be replaced when work is completed.

Eastside Work:  When weather permits, the contractor will paint individual numbers for the new Riverpark Condominiums parking spaces on the County owned property South of SE Spokane Street.  The contractor plans to keep the south parking spaces at Riverpark open until detour bridge construction activities begins in the next few weeks.

When a city permit is issued, the contractor will widen the riverside trail between SE Spokane Street and the bridge in order to bring in equipment to construct a column for the detour bridge.

Work Hours:  Work hours in the next weeks are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.   There will be night work from 9 pm – 6 am for tree removal on the west side of Hwy 43, which could start as early as next week.

Noise Variance:  The Portland Noise Review Board issued a variance permit for the rest of the four-year project.  In the next year the contractor is permitted to work a maximum of 25 Sundays and 88 nights.  Permitted noise levels are lower between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.  The board will review the permit and the contractor’s performance each year. The contractor will monitor noise during the work to ensure it is within permitted levels.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen (503-209-4111 mike.j.pullen@multco.us).


Upcoming tree removal work; noise variance permit issued

Field Work Update - March 23, 2012

River Work:  This week the contractor completed work adding fill at Bent 19 to stabilize the connection between piles and the connecting frame.  Next week horizontal beams will be attached for the helmet cap that will support the upper pier structure.

The contractor completed investigative drilling at Bent 20 to determine the source of an obstruction deep below the river bed.  The obstruction appears to be a layer of dense geology similar to the Troutdale Formation.  The core samples will help the contractor plan to complete pile driving at Bent 20 this summer, during the next in-water work period.

Tree Removal: The project is waiting for a city permit before tree removal can begin on the west side of Highway 43.  The permit is expected in early April, which will lead to several weeks of tree removal, starting with the hillside between Taylors Ferry Road and the bridge.  The trees will be replaced with native species after the highway interchange is rebuilt.  Tree removal will include some night work, since the work requires lanes to be closed on Highway 43.

Eastside Work:  Parking spaces have been painted in the county-owned property on the south side of SE Spokane Street for several residents of Riverpark Condominiums whose parking spaces will be moved during construction.  When weather permits, the contractor will paint individual numbers for the parking spaces.  The contractor plans to keep the south parking spaces at Riverpark open until detour bridge construction activities begins in the next month.

When a city permit is issued, the contractor will widen the riverside trail between SE Spokane Street and the bridge in order to bring in equipment to construct a column for the detour bridge.

Work Hours:  No evening or weekend work is scheduled the next two weeks.  Work hours the next two weeks are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.   The contractor is taking Fridays off for the next several weeks.

Noise Variance:  The Portland Noise Review Board issued a variance permit for the rest of the four-year project.  In the next year the contractor is permitted to work a maximum of 25 Sundays and 88 nights.  Permitted noise levels are lower between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.  The board will review the permit and the contractor’s performance each year.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen (503-209-4111 mike.j.pullen@multco.us).  For project information, visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.


Pile work continues; Staff Jennings demolition complete

Field Work Update - March 16, 2012

River Work: This week the contractor completed work welding struts to strengthen the fender piles that protect the downstream side of the detour bridge.  Next week the contractor plans to cut piles at Bent 18 in the river in preparation for building a helmet cap, to support the upper pier structure.  Work on the helmet cap for Bent 19 continues next week. At Bent 20, on the west side of the channel, the contractor will continue exploratory core drilling inside the piling.  More geological information is needed for some of the Bent 20 piles.

Staff Jennings:  Konell Construction has essentially completed demolition of the former boat store.  The land will become part of the construction zone.  Gasoline sales at the former Staff Jennings dock have closed permanently.

Work Hours:  Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  No night or weekend work is scheduled in the next several weeks.


Eastside, westside, river work; Staff Jennings demolition; noise variance

Field Work Update - March 9, 2012

River Work: The contractor continues to weld protective struts to the east side fender that protects the downstream side of the detour bridge from collisions with river traffic.  Welding and testing should be completed next week.

This week the contractor installed a pile “helmet” on the in-river piling at Bent 19, in the center of this river.  The pile helmet will support the upper pier structure.  Work on Bent 19 continues next week.

Staff Jennings Demolition:  Konell Construction has deconstructed the exterior walls and is leveling out the ground where the former boat store stood.

The property will be used as a construction staging area. 

Other Westside Work:  Permits are needed before the next work items can get underway.  Among the next tasks are removal of the trolley trestle near the former Staff Jennings building, excavation for the landslide repair, and tree removal.

Eastside Work:  Parking spaces have been painted in the county-owned property on the south side of SE Spokane Street for several residents of Riverpark Condominiums whose parking spaces will be moved during construction.  The contractor plans to keep the south parking spaces at Riverpark open until detour bridge construction activities begin later this month.

Construction fencing has been set up at the county-owned property and at Riverpark, on the south border and along the riverside trail.  The trail is closed to the public between Spokane Street and the Portland Rowing Club.  When a permit is issued, the contractor will widen the riverside trail in order to bring in equipment to construct a column for the detour bridge.

Work Hours:  No evening or weekend work is scheduled the next two weeks.  Work hours the next two weeks are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.   

Noise Variance:  The Portland Noise Review Board will consider the contractor’s application for a noise variance for the rest of the construction period on Wednesday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at 1900 S.W. 4th Ave., Room 2500B (2nd floor).  For information, see the City of Portland’s website.  Public testimony is accepted at the hearing.


River work; Staff Jennings demolition; east and westside work

Field Work Update - March 2, 2012

River Work: The contractor continues to assemble and weld protective struts to the two fenders that protect the detour bridge piers from collisions with river traffic. Work continues on the east side fender the next two weeks.

Next week the contractor will continue to install pile "helmets" on the in-river piling at Bent 19, in the center of this river. The pile helmet forms a base for the upper pier structure.

phase3/blog/20120302a.jpg
Staff Jennings and the Sellwood Bridge

Staff Jennings demolition from below
Staff Jennings demolition from below

Staff Jennings Demolition: As this week’s photos show, Konell Construction rapidly took down the main building at the former Staff Jennings boat store this week. Wood beams and other materials were salvaged or recycled. Konell will continue to clear the site next week. It will then be used as a construction staging area. When the new bridge opens, a bioswale on the site will filter stormwater from the bridge and Highway 43.

Other Westside Work: More fencing and erosion controls will be installed next week to set up a zone for the landslide stabilization work and tree protection measures. In the next two weeks, excavation work is expected to begin on the landslide repair under the west end of the bridge, east of the trolley tracks.

Tree removal in the construction zone and on the west side of Highway 43 will begin in March after permits are issued. Highway 43 will be widened and the trees will be replaced with native species as part of the project. The contractor is identifying and protecting trees that will remain.

Eastside Work: Construction fencing has been installed around the county-owned property on the south side of SE Spokane Street adjacent to the Springwater Trail. This lot will be used as a construction staging area with fenced parking for some residents of Riverpark Condominiums whose parking spaces will be moved during construction. A construction driveway will be added from Spokane Street to the lot. The thirteen parking spaces at Riverpark are expected to be relocated in the next week. Fencing has been installed on the south side of Riverpark in preparation for setting up the construction zone there. Gates will be installed after the parking spaces are relocated.

On March 5 – 6, the contractor will videotape exteriors of buildings at Sellwood Harbor and Riverpark that will be removed later this year.

Additional fencing and “Trail Closed” signs are being placed to close the eastbank trail between Spokane Street and the Portland Rowing Club, under the bridge. Work to widen the trail is expected to begin next week. The trail needs to be widened to bring in equipment that will be used to build a land pier for the detour bridge.

Work Hours: No evening or weekend work is scheduled the next two weeks. Work on the weekend of March 10 is cancelled. Work hours the next two weeks are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

Noise Variance: The contractor received a limited noise variance through March 14. The Portland Noise Review Board will consider the contractor’s application for a noise variance for the rest of the construction period on Wednesday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at 1900 S.W. 4th Ave., Room 2500B (2nd floor). For information, see the City of Portland’s website. Public testimony is accepted at the hearing.


Attaching lights; Staff Jennings demo update; fencing installation

Field Work Update - February 28, 2012

Work last week focused on adding strengthening struts to the fender on the west side of the river channel.  Work on the west and east protective fenders continues this week.

Today a subcontractor will attach lights on the bridge to mark the new river navigation channel between Bents 19 and 20.  See the attachment ( pdf, 344 kb) to view bent or column locations. The channel is shifting in advance of work bridges that will be constructed from the east and west sides later this year.

This Wednesday the contractor will begin installing pile helmets on the in-river piling at Bent 19, in the center of this river.  This is the next step in the creation of river piers for the detour bridge.  The pile cap forms a base for the upper pier structure.

Staff Jennings Demolition: Konell Construction continues interior demolition of the former Staff Jennings buildings on the west side of the river.  Portions of the former business sign on Highway 43 have been removed.  The building exteriors will come down in March.

More Land-Based Work:  Construction fencing and erosion controls will be installed on the east and west sides starting this week.  Areas that will be fenced off for construction include the south side of a parking area at Riverpark Condominiums, where several residential parking spaces will be moved to county property on the east side of Riverpark.  No parking signs are being placed at the county property (former Mela property) this week to allow the contractor to paint parking spaces for the Riverpark residents whose parking will be relocated.

Additional fencing and signage will be installed to close off the eastbank riverside trail between SE Spokane St. and the Portland Rowing Club, south of Sellwood Harbor Condominiums.

On Wednesday, equipment will be brought in to widen the eastbank trail so that construction equipment can access the area to begin building a pier for the detour bridge in March.

Fence will also be placed south of the existing Sellwood Bridge on the west side to define a work area for the landslide stabilization work and tree protection measures.

Work Hours:  No evening or weekend work is scheduled in the next week.  Work hours this week are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.   The next weekend work is scheduled on Saturday, March 10.

Noise Variance:  The contractor has received a limited noise variance through March 14.  The work will be on the westside of the river.  The Portland Noise Review Board will consider the contractor’s application for a noise variance for the rest of the construction period on Wednesday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at 1900 S.W. 4th Ave., Room 2500B (2nd floor).  For information, see the City of Portland’s website.  Public testimony is accepted at the hearing.

For construction information, contact Mike Pullen (503-209-4111 mike.j.pullen@multco.us).


End of in-water work; Staff Jennings demolition; noise variance

Field Work Update - February 17, 2012

Photos of the week

A crane lifts a driving frame to be installed at the easternmost river column

A crane lifts a driving frame to be installed at the easternmost river column.

A worker chains up a pile on a supply barge before it is driven into the river bed.

A worker chains up a pile on a supply barge before it is driven into the river bed.

In-Water Work Period Ends

In-water ended February 15. This means the contractor can no longer perform work that disturbs the river bottom. The work limits are due to Spring Chinook, a protected fish species, which migrate up the Willamette River each spring.

Fortunately, the contractor made very good progress working in the river in recent weeks. 108 piles and 767,000 pounds of steel frames were installed for the detour bridge. The frames align the piles that form a base for the detour bridge columns.

Installing the piles was no easy task. Tests in 2011 indicated that most piles would need to be driven 90 feet before they reached hard rock. In the end, a number of piles needed to be driven much deeper, to as much as 155 feet.

Piles for the easternmost river column (Bent 18) were the last to be placed.

Staff Jennings Demolition

Konell Construction continues interior demolition of the former Staff Jennings buildings on the west side of the river. The building exteriors will come down in March.

Work Hours

With the end of in-water work, no work is scheduled for this weekend. Normal work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Noise Variance

The contractor has received a limited noise variance that allows work on several nights and two Sundays through March 14. The work will be on the westside of the river. The Portland Noise Review Board will consider the contractor’s application for a noise variance for the rest of the construction period on Wednesday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at 1900 S.W. 4th Ave., Room 2500B (2nd floor). For information, see the City of Portland’s website. Public testimony is accepted at the hearing.

Look Ahead

Next week the contractor will focus on welding steel braces to strengthen the two river fenders that protect the detour bridge. Construction fencing and erosion controls will be installed on the east and west sides starting the week of February 27.


91 of 108 Piles installed; detour bridge graphic; Staff Jennings demolition

Field Work Update - February 10, 2012

The contractor has made good progress installing river piles for the detour bridge. As of February 9, the contractor had installed 91 out of 108 piles planned for the in-water work period. Also installed are 527,000 pounds of steel pile frames out of a total of 767,000 pounds. The frames align the piles to form a base for the columns that will support the detour bridge.

This week the contractor attached steel braces to the westside fender piles on the downstream side of the bridge and welded pile extensions to drive pile deeper at the center river pier (Bent 19). Pile driving also began at the eastern river pier (Bent 18).

Next week the contractor will continue to strengthen the westside fender and drive pile at Bents 18 and 19.

In-water work continues through February 15, including this weekend.

Graphic of the Week: Several readers have asked what the detour bridge will look like. The attached drawing (Detour Bridge Drawing pdf, 345 kb) shows views of the detour bridge from above and the side, as well as the temporary navigation channel and the protective fenders. The drawing identifies each river pier, or “bent,” by its individual number.

Staff Jennings Demolition: Konell Construction has mobilized to begin the demolition of the former Staff Jennings buildings on the west side of the river. In the next several weeks the contractor will work inside the buildings. The building exteriors will come down in March. The dock and paved areas will remain in place during construction of the new bridge. Demolition of Staff Jennings is scheduled to be completed in early April.

Work Hours

Work hours through February 15 are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. This will be the last weekend of work in the river for awhile.


Extension of in-water work; photo of the week

Field Work Update - February 3, 2012

This week’s major construction news came from regulatory agencies. The agencies granted permission late yesterday for some in-water work to continue through February 15. The work that can continue is the installation of river piles for the detour bridge using vibratory methods. Some in-water work that has a greater impact on the river bed will not be allowed until the next in-water work period this summer.

The in-water work extension beyond January 31 is good news for the construction schedule. Several work days were lost in January due to high water and fast current conditions. The contractor expects to complete some of the river pier pile placements thanks to the extension. A focus will be driving piles deeper at the center river pier (Bent 19) and, starting next week, at the eastern river pier (Bent 18).

In February the contractor will continue to weld new sections of pile above the river piers and attach steel braces to strengthen the fender piles, which protect the detour bridge from collisions on the downstream side. Welding above the river is not considered in-water work.

Sellwood Bridge and rainbow
Work photo of the Week

This week’s field work photo was taken by Tom Hendrickson, a Sellwood Harbor resident. From the deck of his home Tom captured an amazing rainbow over the bridge early on Sunday morning. A few minutes later, he photographed a double rainbow over the bridge

Work Hours

Normal work hours through February 15 are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.


High water update; In-water work extension; Web cam; Photos; Contractor Tours

Field Work Update - January 26, 2012

Work Photos

High river level, barge and crane

A view from the west end shows the high river level and the construction barge and crane

Worker lashing piles

A close-up view of a worker on a river platform lashing piles to keep them aligned

Workers line up pile template

Workers in a blue bucket line up a pile template that will form part of the west channel pier for the detour bridge

High water and a fast current interrupted the contractor’s work on the detour bridge piers this week. Pile placement was halted for several days due to the river level and strong current.

Pile placement and welding for the center and westside river piers has resumed, as conditions improved. A new crane arrived today. Pile placement for the eastside river pier will begin on Friday and continue next week.

Next week the contractor will use sandbags to contain an area for a detour bridge pier on the west riverbank. Piles will not be placed for this pier until March.

In-Water Work Period Extension

Multnomah County is exploring the possibility of extending the in-water work into early February if regulators approve. The goal would be to allow the contractor more work days to complete pile placement for the detour bridge river piers. We will share an update on the extension as soon as we know.

Check Out Our New Web Cam

You can see a live view of construction site at our new web camera on the Sellwood Bridge website. There’s a time lapse feature that creates a short video of the day’s work. We'll be adding longer time lapse views as the work progresses. Special thanks to Riverpark Condominiums and TriMet for their help with our web cam.

Eastside Contractor Tours

Residents of Sellwood Harbor and Riverpark condominiums may notice groups of contractors visiting their properties again from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on February 2. The contractors are preparing bids to make improvements to the properties that are related to the bridge project. That work is expected to begin in early March.

Work Hours

Normal work hours during January are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. High water may prevent the contractor from working at times.


Sellwood Bridge lane closure on Thursday

Multnomah County News Release - January 25, 2012

Electrical work on the Sellwood Bridge will require a single lane to be closed at times on Thursday, January 26 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Flaggers will direct traffic in both directions around the closed section of the westbound lane. Drivers could experience delays of up to 20 minutes. The bridge sidewalk will remain open. The work is related to the bridge replacement project.

To avoid delays, drivers may want to consider using alternate river crossings such as the Ross Island or Hawthorne bridges.

Multnomah County maintains the Sellwood Bridge and 300 miles of roads and bridges. For bridge information, visit www.multco.us/bridges.

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High water level required tug boat operation at night

Field Work Update - January 24, 2012

Due to the high water level of the Willamette River this past weekend, the tug boats helping to keep the work barges in place needed to keep their engines running, including at night. This was done as a precaution to protect the barges and work cranes.

We regret any inconvenience to bridge neighbors. No other construction work was done outside of normal work hours.

Placement of piles for the detour bridge piers halted over the weekend, due to the high water. In-water work continues on a limited capacity until the water levels decrease. We'll send another update later this week.


Pile installation; high water delays; east side site visits

Field Work Update - January 20, 2012

In-water pier workIn-water work on the piers for the detour bridge continued this week. The contractor continued to install pile frames for the pier on the west side of the channel. The attached photo shows a view of this work from the river level.

However, the rising level of the Willamette River will prevent the contractor from starting work on the next detour pier on the east side of the river channel. The river level is expected to be too high to begin this work for several days.

The contractor is also building containments for detour bridge piers that will be built on the east and west river banks. Adjustments have been made to ensure that the containments are not damaged by the rising river level. The actual piers will not be built on the river banks until March.

On the east side, residents of Sellwood Harbor and Riverpark condominiums may notice groups of contractors visiting their properties from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on January 26 and February 2. These contractors are preparing bids to make improvements to the properties that are related to the bridge project. That work is expected to begin in early March.

Work Hours

Normal work hours during January are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. However, the high water may prevent the contractor from working in the next several days.


Sellwood Bridge lane closures postponed: Downed trees close NW Skyline Blvd.

Multnomah County News Release - January 18, 2012

Downed trees have closed N.W. Skyline Boulevard at N.W. Johnson Road, north of N.W. Cornelius Pass Road, in the rural northwest hills. The road is expected to reopen later today after crews remove the trees.

Lane closures that were planned on the Sellwood Bridge for electrical work on Thursday, January 19 have been postponed until Thursday, January 26, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. This week's winter storm delayed the work.

In rural east county, several roads remain fully or partially closed due to fallen trees and power lines:

  • Deverell Road on Larch Mountain is closed to all vehicles at the south end intersection with Louden Road
  • Gordon Creek Road is closed to trucks and buses between mile posts 1 and 2
  • Woodard Road is closed to trucks and buses at the north end intersection with the Historic Columbia River Highway

Multnomah County maintains these roads and 300 miles of roads and bridges.  For more information, visit www.multco.us/roads.

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In Water Work; Pile Installation Photos

Field Work Update - January 12, 2012

In-water work on the piers for the detour bridge continues. This week we are sharing some recent photos of the work.

Several barges carrying supplies or supporting pile driving cranes are working on the west side of the river channel this week. Tug boats are based on the downstream side of the barges. The tugs move equipment, ferry staff to the site, and remove debris from the work area.

Supply barges
On the east side of the river channel the contractor has placed piles and square driving frames to support a detour bridge pier. A diagonal row of fender piles was installed on the downstream side to protect the detour bridge pier from river traffic. Fender piles
A yellow vibratory hammer drives a steel pile about 80 feet below the river bed until it reaches bedrock. The steel piles are delivered by supply barges. Painted numbers on the piles indicate their length in feet. Vibratory hammer
Painted piles

Work Hours

Work continues seven days a week during the January in-water work period. Normal work hours during January are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Upcoming Work

This week and next, pile will continue to be driven for the in-river piers. January 16 – 18 the contractor will clear an area for a detour pier on the east riverbank downhill from Riverpark townhouses, between the trail and river. The pier location will be excavated several feet and a containment system will be installed. Piles for this pier will not be installed until late February or March.


Vibratory Pile Driving, Work Hours

Field Work Update - January 6, 2012

In-water work on the piers for the detour bridge continues seven days a week. This week's work caught the eye of The Oregonian's photographer. Yesterday's newspaper included this photo feature about the construction.

The contractor’s team have placed diagonal rows of fender piles on the downstream side of the detour bridge, to protect it from river traffic. Barge-mounted cranes are installing square steel driving frames that align the steel piles that are driven into the river bed. Each pier of the detour bridge will have a base of four driving frames and at least 20 steel piles.

Vibratory methods are used to drive pile in winter. The detour bridge piers will line up with the existing bridge piers, about 40 feet to the south. In-water pile placement will continue through January.

Supply barges are delivering piles and other materials to the work barges. In the next two weeks the contractor will focus on installing driving frames for the two westside river piers.

Work Hours

Normal work hours during the winter in-water work period are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Weekend work will be less common after the in-water work is completed.

Land based work on the eastside is expected to begin in late February or March.


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