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Celebrating the Old, Welcoming the New

Project Update - Posted February 10, 2016 (updated February 29, 2016)

Watch four years of Sellwood Bridge
construction in just four minutes!

The old Sellwood Bridge will close to traffic at 7 pm on Thursday, February 25 and the new bridge will open to traffic during the first week of March.

While a lot of construction still remains after the new bridge opens to traffic, two celebrations are planned to mark these major milestones.

Goodbye to the old: Old Sellwood Bridge closes February 25

Old Bridge celebration: Thursday, February 25, 7:30-8:30 pm

Watch a video of the Old Sellwood Bridge
Torch Walk, held on February 25, 2016.

On Thursday night February 25, fans of the old Sellwood Bridge will have one last chance to say goodbye. The old bridge will permanently close to traffic that day at 7 pm. From 7:30 – 8:30 pm, residents can walk across the 90-year old bridge one last time to say goodbye. Bring your flashlights, electric candles, and phone lights for this candlelight event. A bagpiper in kilts will lead the gathered friends of the old bridge as we bid it farewell.

Participants should assemble on Grand Avenue off of Spokane street (near the bridge's north sidewalk) no earlier than 7 pm. The procession starts at 7:30 pm. We’ll have time to walk from east to west and back again. The bridge will need to be cleared by 8:30 pm so that work to set up the new bridge for traffic can begin.

While the traffic shift to the new bridge is a significant milestone, bridge and interchange work will continue through November of 2016 (read the latest newsletter for details on remaining work).

Hello to the new: New Sellwood Bridge opens to traffic March 1

Community celebration: Saturday, February 27, noon to 4 pm

Watch a video of the New Sellwood Bridge
Celebration,held on February 27, 2016.

Event map

Download Event Map - PDF, 459 kb

Sellwood Bridge opening event poster

Download Event Poster - PDF, 496 kb

Sellwood Bridge opening event schedule

Download Event Schedule - PDF, 635 kb

After years of construction, the Sellwood Bridge Project has reached a major milestone - and you are invited to a celebration!

The new bridge will open to traffic the first week of March, at which time contractors can begin to remove the detour (old) bridge. The old bridge will close to all modes of traffic (motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians) on Thursday, February 25 at 7 pm for four days while the contractor sets up the new bridge for traffic.

The community is invited to a celebration on the new bridge on Saturday, February 27. The new bridge opens for the free, family-friendly event at noon. An opening ceremony and ribbon cutting will start the celebration around 1 pm, followed by the “Through the Decades” parade. (Event map - PDF, 459 kb.)

Food carts, retail and non-profit booths will be located on the bridge for the party. There will be entertainment on the main stage and along the bridge, and a few surprises. The first to arrive will receive a Sellwood Bridge lapel pin to commemorate the day. Due to limited parking, Sellwood neighbors are encouraged to walk or bike to the event. Event parking for motor vehicles will be at Oaks Amusement Park. Bicycle parking will be provided at the east end of the bridge. Dress warm and bring an umbrella!

The bridge opening celebration is generously sponsored by the four companies that have been most involved with designing, managing, and building the project: CH2M, Inc., David Evans and Associates, Inc., the Slayden-Sundt Joint Venture, and T.Y. Lin International. Special thanks to members of SMILE (the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League) and the Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance for their support for the celebration.

Schedule of Events (Download Schedule, PDF 635kb)
The stage is at the west end of the bridge. The parade will cross the bridge from west to east.

Noon – The event opens
Noon – Cleveland High School Jazz Ensemble (on stage)
1 pm – Opening ceremony speakers (on stage)

  • Deborah Kafoury, Chair, Multnomah County
  • Jeff Merkley, United States Senator
  • Jules Bailey, Multnomah County Commissioner
  • Steve Novick, Portland Commissioner
  • Madeleine Adriance, Student
  • Ava Martinson, Student
  • David Kim, Federal Highway Administration
  • Matthew Garrett, Oregon Department of Transportation
  • Heather Koch, Sellwood Project Community Advisory Committee

1:30 – Blessing (on stage)

  • Candi Brings Plenty
  • Breana Brave Heart

1:35 – Ribbon cutting
1:40 – Parade of the Decades--Commissioners will ride in antique cars. 
2:00 – Water cannon salute from Portland Fire & Rescue boat David Campbell (south side)
2:00 – School of Rock (on stage)
3:00 – The New Iberians (on stage)


Read all about it...

Read the latest project newsletter to find out more about the new bridge and work still remaining.

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