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Southwest Miles Place residents raise concerns about preliminary regional trail design

By Rebecca Koffman - March 22, 2013

Residents expressed outrage over the preliminary design for a regional trail along Southwest Miles Place as part of the Sellwood Bridge Project, saying it would destroy the character of their riverfront street.

Though they argued last year that the regional trail should be placed along Miles Place, they now worry that their narrow street is ill-suited to become a thoroughfare for likely thousands of cyclists.

At a meeting last week, members of Multnomah County's Sellwood Bridge Project team shared design concepts for a regional trail to be constructed along the street that now functions as a de facto trail for hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists.

Read the full article on OregonLive.com


Sellwood Bridge Field Work Update

Field Work Update - March 22, 2013

TRAFFIC ALERTS

  • Day: The outside southbound lane of Hwy. 43 is closed from 7 am to 4 pm weekdays between SW Taylors Ferry Road and the bridge while the contractor excavates the hillside west of the highway.

For safety, we urge bridge users not to cut through the narrow residential streets in the Sellwood area to dodge commute traffic.

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Sellwood Bridge night blasting March 20 & 21

Multnomah County Press Release - March 19, 2013

 Related information

Night time blasting is scheduled on March 20 and 21 as part of the Sellwood Bridge construction project.  The contractor is excavating the hill on the west side of Highway 43 north and south of the bridge.  Blasting is needed to fracture underground rock into smaller pieces that can be excavated during the work day.

A new Highway 43 interchange will be built at the new bridge that will be wider than the existing interchange.  The west hillside will be excavated over the next few months and then retaining walls will be built to hold back the slope. By 2014, traffic lanes will shift to the west and the contractor will begin rebuilding the east side of the interchange.

Blasting began last week and is expected to last about four weeks.  This week’s blasting is north of the bridge and south of Macadam Bay floating homes.  Two or three detonations are planned each night between roughly 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.  Heavy mats are placed over the blasting holes to muffle the noise and reduce flying debris. Warning sirens that are required before the blast are usually louder than the actual explosion.

Highway and bridge traffic will be held for five to 20 minutes for each blast for safety. The outside southbound lane of Highway 43 will be closed near the bridge from 7 p.m. until as late as 6 a.m. on blast nights. Travelers can avoid delays by using alternate routes.

Blasting is scheduled at night to minimize impacts to traffic.  Blasts happen late at night due to procedures the contractor must follow for documenting the first blast and setting explosive charges before each blast.

For more information, including a video of a Sellwood Bridge blast, visit the blasting page.


Sellwood Bridge Field Work Update

Field Work Update - March 15, 2013

TRAFFIC ALERTS

  • Day: The outside southbound lane of Hwy. 43 is closed from 7 am to 4 pm weekdays between SW Taylors Ferry Road and the bridge while the contractor excavates the hillside west of the highway.
  • Night: Blasting is scheduled on March 20 and 21 as part of the work to widen Highway 43 for the new bridge interchange.  On blast nights, intermittent closures of traffic lanes will happen between 7 pm and 5 am. Highway and bridge closures will last up to 20 minutes for each blast. Five minutes and one minute before each blast, a warning siren will sound. The siren is usually louder than the blast itself. Two or three blasts are scheduled each night between 9 pm and 3 am.  Travelers can avoid delays by choosing alternate routes on blast nights.
  • March 21:  On Thursday Century Link will be at the Macadam Bay driveway splicing fiber optic lines from 9 am to 3:30 pm.  The northbound curb lane of Hwy. 43 will be closed for this work from the old Staff Jennings driveway to Macadam Bay’s driveway.  Flaggers will direct northbound traffic.    

Traffic Congestion:  As Sellwood Bridge commuters know, traffic congestion increased on weekday mornings several weeks ago when excavation work began on the west side of Hwy. 43.  This week our project made some changes to improve traffic flow during peak commute hours.  Flaggers are giving more priority to commute traffic.  Some traffic congestion is inevitable due to all the construction activity, but morning traffic has improved since the changes were made. 

For safety, we urge bridge users not to cut through the narrow residential streets in the Sellwood area to dodge commute traffic.

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