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Multnomah County approves Sellwood Bridge final design

Multnomah County Press Release - July 19, 2012

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Multnomah County’s Board of County Commissioners approved the final design for the new Sellwood Bridge today, advancing the $299 million project to the construction phase.

The final design includes:

  • Steel deck arch bridge
  • A symmetrical bridge deck design with two traffic lanes, two bike lane/shoulders, and two multi-use raised paths for bicyclists and pedestrians
  • One-stage bridge construction using a detour bridge
  • New access to Macadam Bay floating homes on the south side of Freeman Motors
  • Westside regional trail along trolley line from bridge to S.W. Miles Place
  • Limited bridge closure during construction

Construction of the detour bridge and landslide mitigation are in progress. Construction of the work bridge for the new bridge and excavation work on Highway 43 are expected to begin in late summer. The new bridge is expected to open to traffic in 2015, with project completion scheduled for early 2016. The project will employ as many as 470 people during construction.

Noting a recent public discussion of project cost saving ideas, County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury encouraged the project team to continue to search for savings, while seeking public input. "I’m happy that people are thinking of ways to save money to make changes to the project," Kafoury said. “And I’m also happy to have the opportunity to listen to the community when they say we don’t want those changes.”

County Chair Jeff Cogen noted the difficulties of building a major project with limited public resources. "Our challenge is making sure we have a bridge that will last on beyond all of our lives and is worthy of the work, and at the same time balances scarce public resources," he said. "It’s not an easy balance but I think today we have made the right decision."

For project information, visit www.sellwoodbridge.org. Multnomah County maintains the Sellwood Bridge and leads the project to replace it.