Why is it needed? Project Phases The New Bridge and Interchange The Detour Bridge Sustainability Diversity Program Field Work and Construction Updates Contractor Information
Past Events and Activities Past Committee Meetings School-Based Outreach Program
Library Newsroom Photo and Image Gallery EIS Documents Links Frequently Asked Questions
Overview Before the Bridge Bridge Fever! The Great Bridge Scandal Gustav Lindenthal Construction and Dedication Need for Replacement River View Cemetery


County gears up for 'tricky' Sellwood Bridge move

Reed Jackson, Daily Journal of Commerce - December 31, 2012

County officials and general contractor Slayden Construction estimate it will take 10 hours to physically move the 1,100-foot truss of the Sellwood Bridge from its present location to temporary piers.

Read the full article at DJCOregon.com (subscription required)

Sellwood Bridge to slide downriver, carry traffic while new bridge is built

Dana Tims, The Oregonian - December 27, 2012

Given Jason Kunkle's passion for bridges, he is planted on the perfect professional perch -- high above the Willamette River amid the cross-braced mesh of the Sellwood Bridge's aging steel truss. In three weeks, Kunkle and a team of engineers, supervisors and skilled workers will culminate months of preparation by activating 10 hydraulic jacks that will lift the 3,400-ton bridge two inches off its concrete piers. In the 12 hours after, they plan to seamlessly pull off one of the longest bridge moves ever attempted.

"If you love bridges, this is what it's all about," said Kunkle, a foreman with Stayton-based Slayden Construction, which formed a joint venture with Sundt, an Arizona contractor, to tackle the $307.5 million replacement of the Sellwood Bridge. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime project."

Read the full article at OregonLive.com

Photo Essay - Sellwood Bridge: Ready to move

Randy L. Rasmussen, The Oregonian - December 27, 2012

In three weeks, a team of engineers, supervisors and skilled workers will culminate months of preparation by activating 10 hydraulic jacks that will lift the 3,400-ton Sellwood bridge two inches off its concrete piers. Stout metal “cradles,” lifts and a dizzying system of hydraulics will scoot the bridge deck from its current alignment to the piers that will cradle its temporary incarnation as a detour bridge.

See the photo essay at OregonLive.com

Portland's share of Sellwood Bridge costs capped at $86 million and could go lower

Dana Tims, The Oregonian - December 20, 2012

The city of Portland will likely end up paying millions less than originally planned for its contribution to the Sellwood Bridge reconstruction project.
Under terms of an agreement signed Thursday by Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen, the city’s contribution to the new bridge will be capped at $86 million. That’s down from a previous $100 million cap.

Read the full article at OregonLive.com

Sellwood Bridge Replacement Effort Nears Major Milestone

Kristian Foden-Vencil, OPB - December 17, 2012

The replacement of the Sellwood Bridge is about to reach a major milestone. Over a 12-hour period next month, the old bridge deck will be slid about 60 feet north onto some temporary supports in the river.

The roadway on either end will then be reattached, so drivers can still use the old bridge.  Then, workers can start in earnest to build the new bridge.  Commuters will drive alongside the new one as it takes shape.  The completion date is in 2016.

Read the full article at OPB online

Portland Has Less Money For The Sellwood Bridge

Kristian Foden-Vencil, OPB - December 13, 2012

Portland city's share of the cost to build the new Sellwood Bridge just dropped -- from a possible $100 million to a maximum of $86 million.

The city had to reduce what it could pay  because of what's known as compression. Compression is the process the city uses to reduce property taxes to the limits imposed by Measure 5. So, because voters passed measures like the library taxing district in November, the city had to reduce its expenditures on other things -- like the Sellwood Bridge.

Read the full article at OPB online

The new Sellwood Bridge will attract walkers and bikers

1925 photo of Sellwood Bridge - Photo: Multnomah County

1925 photo of Sellwood Bridge - Photo: Multnomah County

Guest column, The Oregonian - November 23, 2012
I live in Sellwood and have been closely following the dialogue regarding the new bridge. Sellwood's proximity to the river, Oaks Bottom and the Springwater Corridor are all reasons I choose to live here. As a designer, I am constantly aware of the effect my surroundings have on me. I enjoy walking and cycling around Portland. 
The old Sellwood Bridge was only built for vehicles. Lacking empty lanes, it became a bottleneck not just for cyclists and pedestrians, but also for emergency, fire and other safety equipment. With its height and location on the river, the new bridge with its wide sidewalks becomes, in essence, a park -- a place to walk, ride, bring children and stop and enjoy the views. It will become a destination for that alone, and, as it should, it will serve people, not just cars.
Read more

Tour of Sellwood Bridge project reveals progress made

David F. Ashton, The Bee - November 22, 2012

The Sellwood Bridge rebuilding project inched along as workers prepare to shave off three condominium units, continue construction on the detour bridges approaches, and prepare to build work bridges.

That’s what THE BEE learned while taking a tour of the eastside worksite with Multnomah County project spokesman Mike Pullen on November 4.

Read more

Bridge Construction Slideshow VIII

Karen I. Westphalen - November 19, 2012

Blogger Karen I. Westphalen has created another installment in her series of slideshows featuring images and audio about the construction of the new Sellwood Bridge.

A bridge too wide in Sellwood?

Steve Duin, The Oregonian - November 17, 2012

The staged antagonism between cars and bicycles is so comically overwrought that, as with cockfighting, I wonder about the zealots who enjoy the sport.

Since Aug. 9, at least 550,000 cyclists have traversed the Hawthorne Bridge, an average of more than 5,445 per day. Never mind what those bridge crossings have meant for the city's air quality and the cyclists' health index. They are also a blessing for commuters, like me, who remain caged in our cars.

Why? Because bicyclists aren't putting another automobile between the car nuts and our downtown destinations. They are skirting the rush-hour gridlock, not adding to it.

Read more

Will more than half of new Sellwood Bridge accommodate just 2 percent of travelers?

PolitiFact - November 16, 2012

There are people who think it fiscally irresponsible to spend road dollars on bicyclists and pedestrians when most people still use cars to get around. Case in point: The libertarian-minded Cascade Policy Institute think tank based in Portland and the proposed $299 million project to replace the Sellwood Bridge in Multnomah County.

Is it true that more than half of the new bridge will be dedicated to a small percentage of users?

Read more

Portland and Multnomah County Strike Sellwood Bridge Deal to Compensate for Library Taxing District

Aaron Mesh, Willamette Week - November 7, 2012

The good vibes from election night have carried over into Portland budget relief the next day.

Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen today announced a deal with Portland Mayor Sam Adams to help fund Sellwood Bridge rebuilding and eight SUN schools. The agreement, worth $18.7 million in saved city expenses, will offset the costs to the city from the new Multnomah County Library taxing district, which voters passed Nov. 6.

Read the full article at Willamette Week online

Multnomah County officials agree to defer and lower Portland's Sellwood Bridge payments to offset library district hit

Beth Slovic, The Oregonian - November 7, 2012

Multnomah County and city of Portland officials have hatched a deal to lessen the impact of Tuesday's library district vote on Portland's bottom line, according to Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen.

The creation of a permanent library taxing district, which Multnomah County voters handily approved, could drain as much as $10 million a year from Portland's general fund budget, city officials estimate.

Read the full article at OregonLive.com

Sellwood Bridge detour ramps grow; new bridge starts

David Ashton, The Bee - November 1, 2012

Just beyond the north side of the Sellwood Bridge, construction workers have been busy building what looks like a “bridge to nowhere”.

But, when the center span of the old Sellwood Bridge is carefully winched 40 feet north onto the new piers in January, it should mate perfectly with the approach ramps being constructed for it, as it becomes the “temporary” Sellwood Bridge, while construction of the new bridge gets underway just to its south.

Consequently, for the past month, other contractors were pile-driving supports for what will become the foundation of two “work bridges” to permit the construction of the brand new replacement Sellwood Bridge.

Read the full article at PortlandTribune.com

Designing a regional trail along Southwest Miles Place

Rebecca Koffman, Oregonlive.com - October 18, 2012

At a lively meeting Wednesday night, Southwest Miles Place residents and trail users shared preliminary ideas about the design of a regional trail to be constructed along the riverfront street as part of the Sellwood Bridge Project.

Engineers told them bridge and other improvements mean they can expect thousands of bicyclists to travel Miles Place daily.

Read the full article at Oregonlive.com

County meeting to discuss bike access on SW Miles Place

Jonathan Maus, BikePortland.org - October 16, 2012

Tomorrow night, Multnomah County will hold a public meeting to discuss the future SW Miles Place Regional Trail. As part of the Sellwood Bridge Project, the County has decided to connect the path on the west end of the bridge to the existing Willamette Greenway Trail from the Macadam Bay houseboat community just north of the bridge, to Willamette Park.

Read the full article at BikePortland.org

County readies bond sale to pay for Sellwood Bridge work

Steve Law, Portland Tribune - October 14, 2012

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners is set Thursday to authorize the sale of $128 million in bonds to pay most of the county’s share to replace the Sellwood Bridge.

Correction: This article incorrectly notes that Multnomah County "will pay an estimated $9 million in financing charges to pay off the bonds." In reality, it will cost about $9 million per year for 20 years (total cost $180 million) to pay off the $128 million in bonds. Funds will come from the county's vehicle registration fee. The $52 million in interest is similar to the cost of financing a home purchase with a 20- year mortgage.

Read the full article at PortlandTribune.com

Bridge Construction Slideshow VII

Karen I. Westphalen - October 11, 2012

Blogger Karen I. Westphalen has created another installment in her series of slideshows featuring images and audio about the construction of the new Sellwood Bridge.

Sellwood Bridge move now scheduled for January

David Ashton, The Bee - October 3, 2012

As the end of the “in-river work” season comes to a close on October 15th, to protect runs of fish, efforts are kicking in to high gear for the Sellwood Bridge project.

“We’re going to a seven-day-a-week work schedule,” project spokesman Mike Pullen told THE BEE. “We’re working to get 120 steel piles into the river that will support the work bridges.” Read the full article at portlandtribune.com

New path for bikes on west end of Sellwood Bridge

Jonathan Maus, BikePortland.org - September 28, 2012

Related information

A new bike path on the western end of the Sellwood Bridge was just completed yesterday. Multnomah County spokesman Mike Pullen says it will be in place for about a year and that it's one of many temporary alignments we can expect as the bridge is rebuilt over the next three years

Read the full article at BikePortland.org

Will Portland's bridges hold?

Sally Showman, KOIN - September 26, 2012

They connect us, they transport us, and they keep Portland moving.

By Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Multnomah County's count, more than half-a-million cars cross Portland's downtown bridges every day.

"We're a river city," Multnomah County spokesman Mike Pullen said.

However, the majority of those bridges, according to Pullen, are at risk, and he cannot rule out the possibility of collapse

Read the full article at KOINLocal6.com

Oregon Bridge Designed With Budget in Mind

Jenny Jones, American Society of Civil Engineers - September 11, 2012

A steel deck arch bridge will economically replace an aging Warren truss bridge in Multnomah County, and the existing bridge will be used as a detour while the new crossing is being constructed. Read the full article at ASCE.org.

Sellwood Bridge Project is Exceeding Diversity Goals

Helen Silvis, The Skanner News - September 6, 2012

Related information

The Sellwood Bridge Project is exceeding its minority hiring goal, project managers say. Minority contractors make up 23 percent of the firms hired to work on the bridge, while the goal for minority participation was 20 percent.

Ian Cannon, for Multnomah County and Michael Baker, for the project consultants David Evans and Associates, reported the contracting diversity numbers to Multnomah County Commissioners, at their regular board meeting, Thursday, Sept. 6. Read the full article at TheSkanner.com

Sellwood Bridge: Progress made on detour bridge plan

David Ashton, The Sellwood Bee - September 5, 2012

With no further debates about cost cuts, and without scheduled committee meetings, work on the Sellwood Bridge rebuilding project was entirely at the site itself, in August. Read the full article at PortlandTribune.com.

Bridge Construction Slideshow VI

August 21, 2012

Blogger Karen I. Westphalen has created another installment in her series of slideshows featuring images and audio about the construction of the new Sellwood Bridge.

Rampant political corruption resulted in a weak Sellwood Bridge

Dana Tims, The Oregonian - August 21, 2012

Related information

Histories of bridge projects rarely read like crime novels. Then again, most of those projects don't involve the Sellwood Bridge of the early 1920s.

The crumbling structure, now set for replacement by 2016, is generally known for two things: It's Oregon's busiest two-lane bridge, and it scrapes along the bottom of the National Bridge Inventory sufficiency rating, scoring 2 out of a possible 100. It's in such bad shape buses aren't allowed on it.

Largely forgotten, though, is that rampant political corruption resulted in a weak bridge, a Czech-born genius was brought in to salvage the span's construction mess, and geological forces unknown at the time ultimately ruined a structure that was built on a dime.

Read the full article at OregonLive.com

Bridging the Gap

Alex Zielinski, The Portland Mercury - August 9, 2012

On July 19, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved the much-anticipated design of the new Sellwood Bridge — closing the books on six years of planning. While the replacement comes as a relief for both commuters and local officials tired of holding their breath as they drive over the infamously dangerous 87-year-old bridge (known for its "two points out of one hundred possible points" safety rating), many are irked that a solution wasn't found until now.

Read the full article at PortlandMercury.com

Sellwood Bridge design changes protested - then reversed

David Ashton, The Sellwood Bee - July 31, 2012

Heading into the July 9 Sellwood Bridge Community Advisory Committee (CAC), long-time members like Heather Nelson Koch reached out to neighbors to express concern about the project’s just-announced budget and proposed design changes.

Read more at TheBeeNews.com

Bridge Construction Slideshow V

Karen I. Westphalen - July 24, 2012

Blogger Karen I. Westphalen has created another installment in her series of slideshows featuring images and audio about the construction of the new Sellwood Bridge.

Art for new Sellwood Bridge inspired by local geology

David Stabler, The Oregonian - July 22, 2012

Mikyoung Kim stands beside the roar of traffic at the east end of the Sellwood Bridge and imagines three years into the future. Instead of a strip club and an empty, weedy lot welcoming vehicles to the history-minded Sellwood neighborhood, the slender woman in heels and crisp, tailored slacks sees a calmer thoroughfare with bike lanes, sidewalks, bioswales and trees. Read the article at OregonLive.com.

News Roundup: Cost estimates; proposed design changes

July 16 - July 18, 2012
  • Mayor calls new price tag of Sellwood Bridge 'very frustrating'
    Kerry Tomlinson, KATU News Published: Jul 18, 2012

    The price of the new Sellwood Bridge just went up and Portland Mayor Sam Adams is not happy about it. Read more and watch the video at KATU.com.

  • Contamination At Sellwood Bridge Worse Than Expected
    OPB News, April Baer - July 18, 2012

    Multnomah County Commissioners will vote Thursday on a revised plan for rebuilding the Sellwood Bridge. Since the last draft of the project, the estimated cost has increased by about $30 million. Read more at OPB.org.

  • Sellwood bike, ped lanes spared cuts
    KGW.com , Frank Mungeam - July 18, 2012

    A plan to cut about $2.5 million in costs for the Sellwood Bridge project has been abandoned after bicycle groups voiced concerns about the proposed changes. Read more at KGW News

  • Price of New Sellwood Bridge Jumps By $30 Million
    FM 101 KXL - July 17, 2012

    The committee in charge of planning and designing the new Sellwood Bridge has adopted changes that will cost Multnomah County $30 Million more than was earlier expected. This final design plan will go before the board of commissioners on Thursday for approval. Read the article at KXL.com.

  • Adams is irked as the latest cost estimate for the new Sellwood Bridge reaches $299 million
    The Oregonian,Steven Beaven - July 17, 2012

    The city and Multnomah County are expected to chip in a total of $30 million extra to pay for the ballooning costs of the new Sellwood Bridge, which now has a price tag of $299 million. Read the full article at TheOregonian.com

  • Multnomah County Moving Back To Original Sellwood Bridge Plan
    OPB News, April Baer - July 17, 2012

    Multnomah County officials seem ready to scrap an alternate proposal for bike access to the Sellwood Bridge revamp. One plan for the Sellwood Bridge shows a balance of pedestrians and bikes on both sides of the bridge. Image courtesy Multnomah County. Read more at OPB.org

  • Sellwood Bridge proposal to get county vote
    Portland Business Journal, Andy Giegerich - July 17, 2012

    Multnomah County commissioners are scheduled to vote Thursday on a revamped Sellwood Bridge proposal that will cost some $30 million more than leaders had recently projected. Read the full article at PortlandBusinessJournal.com

  • Adams' concerns force County to back away from Sellwood Bridge redesign proposal
    Bike Portland, Jonathan Maus - July 16, 2012

    Facing fierce opposition from the public — and stern questioning from Portland Mayor Sam Adams — Multnomah County decided to not move forward on their cost-cutting proposal for the Sellwood Bridge project. Read the full article at BikePortland.org

  • Sellwood Bridge Vote is a Win for Public Process and Accountability
    BTA Oregon, Carl Larson - July 16, 2012

    Good news today for those considering serving on a Multnomah County advisory committee: your input matters. Read more at BTAOregon.org

  • Bicyclists urge Sellwood Bridge vote delay
    Andy Giegerich, Portland Business Journal - July 16, 2012

    When a committee meets Monday afternoon to consider a final Sellwood Bridge replacement design, the group can expect an earful from concerned bicyclists. Read more at the Portland Business Journal.

  • What's at stake with last-minute changes to Sellwood Bridge project design
    Jonathan Maus, Bike Portland - July 16, 2012

    Like many of you, I'm still trying to figure out what exactly is going on with the Sellwood Bridge project. I have not followed it very closely since the celebratory groundbreaking back in December. My sense was that the project came out great for bicycling with ample riding room and connectivity. Read more at BikePortland.org.

News Roundup: Proposed design changes

July 12 - July 13, 2012
  • Bike, Pedestrian Traffic Could Be Altered On Proposed Sellwood Bridge
    Amanda Peacher, OPB News - July 13, 2012

    Multnomah County is proposing some changes to the plan for the new Sellwood Bridge in Portland. The new design would affect how bikes and pedestrians get across the river. Read more at OPB.org.

  • Major changes to Sellwood Bridge design: BTA urges county to delay final vote
    Jonathan Maus, Bike Portland - July 13, 2012

    Last minute cost-cutting has resulted in proposed design changes to the $268 million Sellwood Bridge project that could have significant impacts on bicycling. With a key vote on the final design set for this coming Monday (7/16) and a decision on the plans set for Thursday (7/19), the Bicycle Transportation Alliance is concerned that there's not enough time to consider the changes and they are urging the county to delay the vote. Read more at BikePortland.org.

  • Big Changes for Sellwood Bridge Design
    Carl Larson, BTA Oregon - July 12, 2012

    Last week, Multnomah County proposed significant last-minute changes to the design of the new Sellwood Bridge that would particularly impact people walking and biking. The county, in an attempt to save roughly $2.5 million, is proposing to remove one of the west-side ramps. As a result, most bike/ped traffic is now on the north side of the bridge. Read the article at BTAOregon.org.

Bridge engineers say they have less control over projects

Reed Jackson, DJC Oregon - July 11, 2012

"... Higgins also acknowledged that regulatory processes can be beneficial, which is why he believes engineers must become more accustomed to them. He cited the Sellwood Bridge replacement project, in which Multnomah County officials and local residents and business owners reached an agreement, as a good example of engineers going through the processes but also maintaining the bridge’s structural integrity." Read the full article at DJCOregon.com.

The final design on the new Sellwood Bridge is coming soon, despite a budget gap of more than $10 million

Steve Beaven, The Oregonian - July 11, 2012

With about a week to go before a scheduled Multnomah County commissioners vote on the final design of the Sellwood Bridge replacement, the county must fill a budget gap of more than $10 million.

The budget gap results from several factors, including the rising prices of steel and fuel, said county spokesman Mike Pullen. Read the article at OregonLive.com.

Mikyoung Kim Selected for Sellwood Bridge Public Art Project

Regional Arts & Culture Council Press Release - July 6, 2012

Mikyoung Kim

Mikyoung Kim

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) announced today that Boston based artist, Mikyoung Kim, has been selected to create public art for the Sellwood Bridge, slated to open in 2016. The art is funded through the city's percent for art program and will be owned by the City and maintained by RACC.

Related articles

Read More

Sellwood Bridge Construction

Rosemary Reynolds, KXL News - July 2, 2012

Construction continues to replace the old Sellwood Bridge.  Work on the Westside revolves around securing the ground to keep the hillside from pushing on the bridge.  Special equipment has been placed underground to monitor movement.

Read more at KXL.com

Sellwood Bridge plans advance, heralded by T-shirts

David Ashton, The Bee - July 1, 2012

It might look as if the Sellwood Bridge replacement project has stalled but looks can be deceiving.

Condominium work is about to begin, a trail is being widened, scaffolding is going up on the Sellwood Bridge columns, and Sellwood Middle School students presented their T-shirt artwork design to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners in June.

Read the full article at The Bee

Sellwood Bridge off-ramp solution does right by Southwest Portland neighbors

Steve Duin, The Oregonian - June 30, 2012

The hodgepodge, just south of Willamette Park, is one of those classic Portland neighborhoods that screams, "Look what the cat dragged in."

Wedged into the throwback is a trampoline outlet, the hula hoops store and Gorge Performance, a surf shop that dates to 1983, when windsurfing was the rage at that bend in the river.

Read the full article at OregonLive.com

Willamette bridge construction, no-wake zone will slow river traffic, increase 'river rage' potential

Special to The Oregonian - June 15, 2012

Summer really will arrive one day soon, we promise. And when it does, authorities who patrol the Willamette River are braced for a big summertime headache.

Bridge construction at both ends of Ross Island and a relatively new slow-speed no-wake zone on the Holgate Channel will slow traffic on a stretch of river that normally churns with water skiers, wakeboarders and other pleasure-craft users on hot days and balmy evenings. Read the full article at OregonLive.com

County committee makes decision on new access road near Sellwood Bridge

Jonathan Maus, Bike Portland - June 8, 2012

The construction of the new Sellwood Bridge is already having some impacts on the nearby transportation network. As The Oregonian reported last month, a decision to relocate an access road to Highway 43 for the Macadam Bay houseboat community just north of the bridge "ignited a fierce debate".

At issue was where to put the estimated 200 cars that go between the houseboats and the highway every day. The county considered a myriad of options, but there was opposition to each of them. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is that the Willamette Greenway trail begins on SW Miles Place and runs parallel to Highway 43 in this same area. Also, as part of the Sellwood Bridge project, the trail will be improved and connected to the bridge.

Read more at BikePortland.org

Sellwood Bridge committee recommends a westside driveway and trail alignment

Rebecca Koffman, The Oregonian - June 6, 2012

Change is coming to the west side area where the span of the new Sellwood Bridge will meet Oregon 43.

Two knotty questions -- where to relocate a driveway for the Macadam Bay houseboat community and where to situate a bike and pedestrian trail -- are now closer to being settled.

On Monday, the bridge project’s Community Advisory Committee unanimously recommended running the new driveway on city-owned land next to, but not through, the parking lot of Freeman Motors. The committee recommended the regional trail along the rail corridor run parallel to 43 then along Southwest Miles Place.

Read the full article at Oregonlive.com

Sellwood Bridge detour structure work advances

David Ashton, The Sellwood Bee - June 5, 2012

A giant construction crane has been assembled where the historic Mela Building once stood, next to the Sellwood Bridge on the east bank of the Willamette River. It helped place, on May 10, part of the superstructure that will support the “shoo-fly” detour bridge.

Read more at TheBeeNews.com

Build a Bridge. Move a Bike Path. Destroy a Home.

Lars Larson, 750 KXL - May 29, 2012

"The Sellwood Bridge project has been underway for quite some time, and there hasn't been much talk about the impact this new bridge might have on the neighborhoods around it." Read more and listen at kxl.com.

Sellwood Bridge plans cause upset on the westside

Rebecca Koffman, The Oregonian - May 24, 2012

The construction of the new Sellwood Bridge will bring changes to the westside area where the span meets Oregon 43.

One seemingly small question –- where to situate a new driveway for the Macadam Bay houseboat community –- has ignited a fierce debate in which the interests of local business owners, houseboat residents and Miles Place/Miles street property owners clash.

At issue: safety, the financial future of several businesses, property values and the preservation of the character of one of Portland’s riverside streets.

Read the full article at Oregonlive.com

New Sellwood Bridge proposals cause ripples on the westside

Rebecca Koffman, The Oregonian - May 9, 2012

An upcoming public meeting to discuss westside changes to the area surrounding the new Sellwood Bridge/Highway 43 interchange seems set to be contentious.

At issue is where a new driveway to the Macadam Bay houseboat community will be built. The current Macadam Bay access will be too close to the new bridge interchange to operate safely. Read the full story at Oregonlive.com.

Bridge Construction Slideshow IV

Karen I. Westphalen - May 7, 2012

Blogger Karen I. Westphalen has created another installment in her series of slideshows featuring images and audio about the construction of the new Sellwood Bridge.

BRIDGE DESIGN: A public following

Ricki L. Hisaw, Roads & Bridges - May 4, 2012

Project delivery keeps the community involved during the design and construction of Sellwood Bridge

Portland, Ore., is a national leader in its commitment to using public-engagement processes to shape its communities and corresponding infrastructure.

But even by Portland’s high standards, the community involvement processes used to develop the Sellwood Bridge project are unprecedented. Read the article online from RoadsBridges.com, or as a PDF (100 kb).

Sellwood Bridge project moves toward “completed design”

David Ashton, The Sellwood Bee - May 2, 2012

The Sellwood Bridge replacement project continues to move along, albeit slightly behind schedule — slowed primarily due to the permitting process, as it enters its “90% Design” phase. Read the full article at TheBeeNews.com.

Sellwood Bridge vs. Houseboats

Michael Ziegler, KGW.com - April 27, 2012

People who live north of the Sellwood Bridge say the county wants to triple the traffic on their small street. It all comes down to where to put a new driveway. The old one has to go when the new bridge goes up. view full article

High school students create model of new Sellwood Bridge

Multnomah County Press Release - April 26, 2012

Related articles

What - A team of four students at Portland’s ACE Academy have created scale models of the new and old Sellwood Bridges. The ACE Academy in Northeast Portland is a charter school with a project-based curriculum for students interested in careers in architecture, construction and engineering. The students will display their models and explain their class project at a meeting of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. The presentation is part of the Sellwood Bridge project’s school-based outreach program, which uses the bridge project as an educational opportunity for students in local K-12 schools.

Read More

Bridge Construction Slideshow III

Karen I. Westphalen - April 16, 2012

Blogger Karen I. Westphalen has created another installment in her series of slideshows featuring images and audio about the construction of the new Sellwood Bridge.

News Roundup: Native Americans get Sellwood Bridge trees

Cut-Down Trees in West Portland Going to Grand Ronde
Staff, Indian Country Total Media Network - April 19, 2012

The approximately 813 trees that will be removed in West Portland to accommodate construction of a new bridge and interchange will go to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. Read more at IndianCountryTotalMediaNetwork.com.

Tribe receives trees, bark from Sellwood Bridge project
By Ron Karten, GrandRonde.org - April 30, 2012

The successful partnerships that the Tribe has built in the Portland metropolitan area paid surprise dividends in mid-April when cedar bark and yew trees from the renovation of the Sellwood Bridge were given to the Grand Ronde people for future cultural use. Read more at GrandRonde.org.

Native Americans get Sellwood Bridge trees
KOIN News 6 - April 16, 2012

Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde are harvesting the yew trees and taking the bark from cedar trees. The Willamette Valley Treaty of 1855 gives Native Americans federal rights to harvest the trees in this area. View the video:

Tree removal begins for Sellwood Bridge project

Multnomah County Press Release - April 6, 2012

Related articles

A contractor will begin removing trees and brush on April 9 along Highway 43 near the west end of the Sellwood Bridge. The trees need to be removed for the construction project that will replace the bridge and its interchange with Highway 43. The work will affect traffic on Highway 43 during off-peak times.

Tree removal work will take place over several weeks, starting with trees on the west side of the highway north of the bridge near the cemetery, working northward toward Taylor’s Ferry. The work will take place Monday through Friday nights from 9 p.m. until as late as 6 a.m. The night work will require single lane closures, as well as complete closures for as long as 20 minutes. The outside southbound lane of Highway 43 will be closed on some mornings to allow the contractor to remove debris from the work zone.

Read More

Staff Jennings crumbles — but funding completes, for new Sellwood Bridge

David Ashton, The Bee - April 4, 2012

"We are incredibly grateful that the Oregon Legislature supported two projects that will improve public safety, and put more Oregonians back to work," said Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury, upon learning the news.

Now that the "in-water" work window has passed until mid-July, construction contractors have been working above the water, welding struts to strengthen the fender piles that protect the downstream side of the "detour bridge", which the current Sellwood Bridge will become at the end of summer. Next, workers will cap the pilings that will support the upper pier structure.

Read more at The Bee

Legislature approves funds for Sellwood Bridge and Cornelius Pass Road

Multnomah County News Release - March 12, 2012

The 2012 Oregon Legislature provided a major boost to Multnomah County’s efforts to replace the Sellwood Bridge and make safety improvements to a winding stretch of Northwest Cornelius Pass Road.

Senate Bill 1543 allocates $5 million to construct the Highway 43 intersection with the new Sellwood Bridge and $9.5 million to develop and construct improvements to Cornelius Pass Road.

Governor John Kitzhaber has indicated he will sign the bill into law this month.

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Bridge Construction Slideshows

Project News - March 12, 2012

Blogger Karen I. Westphalen is creating a series of slideshows featuring images and audio about the construction of the new Sellwood Bridge. Check out her site for recent slideshows about the history of the bridge (featuring from The Portland Bridge Book author Sharon Wood-Wortman), and the beginning of construction.

Sellwood Bridge detour pilings raised, as landmark "Staff Jennings" falls

David Ashton, The Bee - March 6, 2012

The new pilings driven deep into the Willamette River — some penetrating as much as 155 feet below the riverbed — are a sure signs that construction of the new Sellwood Bridge is underway.

And, although there’s no exterior demolition yet that indicates that the buildings that once belonged to the boating business started in 1929 by Stafford Jennings, just to the north of the bridge, workers are gutting the interior of the building. (A history of that business was recounted in an article by Dana Beck in THE BEE’s May, 2010, issue.) Read more at TheBeeNews.com

Sellwood Bridge is no longer falling down, falling down...

Laura Blum, The Pioneer Log - February 23, 2012

There’s good news and bad news about the Sellwood Bridge. The good news is that the city of Portland already has begun construction that will replace the bridge with a new, far superior one. The bad news is that the new bridge will take three to four years to complete, and until then, a Sellwood Shuttle may be too much to hope for. Read more at ThePioneerLog.

News Roundup: Keeping an Eye on the Bridge Builders; Streetcar Hitches a Ride

Media Coverage - January 26, 2012
  • Keep An Eye On The Bridge Builders
    Michael Clapp, OPB - January 26, 2012

    Multnomah County has set up a web cam to let the public watch day-to-day progress on the replacement of the Sellwood Bridge. Read the story at news.opb.org.

  • Streetcar hitches a ride on Sellwood Bridge work
    Jim Redden, The Portland Tribune - January 26, 2012

    Multnomah County is still planning to spend an additional $3.5 million to prepare the replacement Sellwood Bridge to carry a future Portland Streetcar line, even though the reason for the work is no longer valid. Read more at PortlandTribune.com

Transportation: Funding should reward forward-thinking projects

Guest Column, The Oregonian - January 10, 2012

By Deborah Kafoury and Chris Rall

With Congress facing a March 31 deadline to reauthorize the long-term transportation bill, we have an opportunity to set transportation on the right track. Gabriel Roth's recipe for disaster ("Transportation bill: Let states pay for highways," Commentary, Jan. 2) would have the federal government shirk its responsibility for transportation, leaving cash-strapped states and local governments on their own to try to prevent their roads, bridges and transit systems from crumbling.

In his extremist call for the elimination of the federal transportation program, Roth clings to the fantasy that a "user pays" system would eliminate subsidies for transit projects but leave road projects unaffected. In truth, roads don't pay for themselves. According to a report from U.S. PIRG, highway user fees pay only about half the cost of building and maintaining the nation's network of highways, roads and streets.

Read more at Oregonlive.com

News Roundup: Work begins

Crews begin work in Willamette River
The Oregonian - January 5, 2012

Crews from Slayden-Sundt, the general contractor for the new Sellwood Bridge, worked Wednesday morning to position a driving frame, used to align the piles that are driven into the riverbed to support a temporary detour bridge across the Willamette River.

Read more at Oregonlive.com

Crews making foundation for temporary Sellwood detour bridge
Sam Tenney, DJC DailyBlog - January 6, 2012

Crews with Slayden/Sundt continued work on the Sellwood Bridge replacement project Thursday. They are now creating the foundation for a temporary detour bridge, which will be used to divert traffic around the site until the new bridge opens in 2015.

Read more at the DJC DailyBlog