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Historic Sellwood Bridge is For Sale

Project Notice - August 12, 2014

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After nearly 90 years of public service, the Sellwood Bridge could have a new owner and a new home. The bridge has been designated a historic resource which requires it to be made available for historic reuse before it is removed to make way for the new Sellwood Bridge. Multnomah County is accepting proposals to buy the bridge until September 12, 2014.

While Multnomah County may offer a great deal on the structure, there are a few important things would-be buyers should know. They'll need to:

  • Move it safely with their own resources
  • Cover the steel structure to contain lead paint
  • Re-use it in a way that preserves the historic resource
  • Have a place to put it
  • Prove they can pay to move it safely

The portion of the bridge that is available is the continuous steel truss span that is nearly 1,100 feet long. If no buyer is found, the steel, concrete, and even the lead paint will be recycled. To learn more about this historic opportunity and how to submit a proposal, read the following announcement:


Notice of Availability
Sellwood Bridge, No. 6879
SE Tacoma Street
Multnomah County, Oregon

Multnomah County is offering the historic Sellwood Bridge for sale to the highest qualified bidder able to move the structure from the site during the period between late 2015 and early 2016. The bridge is a steel four-span continuous riveted Warren Deck Truss with Verticals (subdivided). It presently spans the Willamette River at SE Tacoma Street in Portland, Oregon. The structure, which is owned by Multnomah County, must be removed to make way for the county bridge replacement project that is currently underway.

The Sellwood Bridge Replacement Project is funded by federal highway funds. The existing bridge is structurally deficient in its current location and functionally obsolete, and it can no longer meet the area’s traffic demands for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. The new bridge will safely serve the traveling public and address the concerns and needs of the local community (http://www.sellwoodbridge.org/).

The Sellwood Bridge, designed by renowned bridge engineer Gustav Lindenthal, opened to traffic in December 1925. The four-span continuous Warren Deck Truss consists of two steel trusses spaced 20 feet apart with top and bottom chords 25 feet apart. Plate girders from the previous 1894 Burnside Bridge were incorporated into both ends of the Sellwood Bridge superstructure. The bridge was determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places as the only four-span continuous truss bridge in the State of Oregon and also the only known highway bridge of this construction. The total length of the continuous truss (Spans 17-20) is 1,091 feet 8 inches. The shorter 1894 steel girder approach spans (Spans 16 and 21) were removed in 2013 when the truss spans were moved to set up a detour bridge.

Multnomah County will select a new owner based on the applicant being able to take immediate action to move the truss spans between late 2015 and early 2016 and rehabilitate it. Otherwise, it will be demolished, along with the remaining concrete bridge east approach and river pier, and the material recycled to make way for the new bridge. The County plans to retain selected elements from the Sellwood Bridge either for reuse or to commemorate the bridge.

The bridge’s truss spans contain lead paint. The new owner is solely responsible for ensuring that lead paint does not enter the environment when removing and transporting the spans. The new owner will conduct work in a manner that fully contains the existing bridge, prevents paint fragments or other related debris from entering the environment and complies with all applicable laws regarding handling and transport. The new owner will obtain any permits necessary for the removal, transport, and re-siting of the spans.

Interested parties should contact Chuck Maggio, at the Sellwood Bridge Project Office, 8145 SE 6th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202, 503-329-5490 for additional information or questions. Proposals must be typed and submitted by 5:00 P.M., September 12, 2014.

Proposal Format

All proposals will be evaluated against the criteria listed below. The proposal should therefore follow a similar order, and include a section that addresses each of these areas.

  • Site – Describe the site proposed for relocating the structure, current zoning, surrounding land use, and any other pertinent information. Include a copy of the deed, zoning map, tax lot maps or plat map highlighting the location of the site.
  • Use – Describe how the structure will be used; e.g., residential, commercial, etc.
  • Method of Relocation – Describe how the bridge will be removed and note precautions taken to contain debris.
  • Time schedule – Describe the anticipated activities and timelines for moving the structure.
  • Funding – Submit evidence of financial ability to accomplish the move (e.g., letter of credit). Final selection will be subject to a candidate’s ability to finance the project.

Selection Process

The proposals will be ranked based on the selection criteria. A selection committee comprised of County staff will review each proposal and make a recommendation to the Program Manager, Sellwood Bridge Replacement Project, who will make the final decision.

Approximate Schedule

  • August 11, 2014 - Notice of Availability
  • August 26, 2014 - open house for potential applicant's inspection
  • September 12, 2014 - proposals due by 5:00 P.M.
  • September 26, 2014 - selection committee submits recommendation for new owner
  • November 14, 2014 - meeting with the selected candidate to execute sales agreement between new owner and Multnomah County
  • Late 2015 thru early 2016 - structure(s) moved from the site