Construction on the new Sellwood Bridge is likely to slow traffic this week as heavy steel arch segments are being installed.
“We have a very large barge with a crane on it,” said Multnomah County spokesperson Mike Pullen. “You see some of the curves of the arches and they’ll be on the east span of the new Sellwood Bridge.”
Traffic will be tied up periodically through Wednesday as crews install the steel segments which weigh up to 300,000 pounds for the east arch. Installation affects the traffic, Pullen said, because the existing bridge “is very, very close to where these steel segments for the new arch are going to be installed.”
Bridge traffic delays: Sellwood Bridge traffic will be delayed at times March 9 – 11 during installation of heavy steel arch segments for the east span of the new bridge. Delays of up to 20 minutes (including sidewalks) may be needed at these times: Monday from 12 – 4 pm; Tuesday from 9 am to noon; Wednesday from 9 to 4 pm. Bridge users may want to consider alternate routes to avoid delays.
Hwy. 43 traffic impacts:
- Lane closures are expected next week in the southbound outside lane north of the bridge during finish work on the concrete walls.
- Lane closures are expected next week for northbound traffic south of the bridge during delivery and installation of large concrete blocks for a new retaining wall.
Sellwood Bridge traffic will be delayed at times March 9 – 11 during installation of heavy steel arch segments for the east span of the new bridge. Bridge users can avoid delays by using alternate routes during the work.
From Monday, March 9 to Wednesday, March 11 the bridge contractor will install steel segments weighing up to 300,000 pounds for the east arch. The east end of the detour bridge is very close to the construction zone where a crane will install the arch segments. For safety, motor vehicle and sidewalk traffic on the detour bridge will be stopped at times during the arch installation. Traffic may be held as long as 20 minutes during these times:
- Monday, March 9 from 12 noon to 4 pm
- Tuesday, March 10 from 9 am to 12 noon
- Wednesday, March 11 from 9 am to 4 pm
Highway 43 will remain open to two-way traffic at all times. Here are alternate routes bridge users may use:
Alternate routes for westbound traffic are:
- Northbound: Hwy. 99E (McLoughlin Blvd.) to Ross Island Bridge to Hwy. 43
- Southbound: Hwy. 99E to Interstate 205 (Abernethy Bridge at Oregon City) to Hwy. 43
- Eastbound routes are the reverse.
Bicyclists and Pedestrians
Bicyclists and pedestrians may prefer the Hawthorne Bridge for the northern detour. The Hawthorne Bridge can be accessed from the Sellwood area from the Springwater Trail.
The Sellwood Bridge is normally open during construction. The new bridge is scheduled to open in early 2016 and the entire project will be completed in late 2016.
With 34,000 vehicles crossing it daily, the Sellwood Bridge is the second busiest bridge in Portland. An inspection in 2009 identified cracking and structural concerns, and led Multnomah County to decide the structure had to be replaced.
But how could the county replace the bridge while minimizing the impact on the cars that needed to travel from one side of the river to the other?
Enter Omega Morgan with a unique solution.