Inch-by-inch, the Sellwood Bridge is on the move.
Hundreds of onlookers spent a sunny, but cold Saturday watching the 87-year-old southeast Portland span move a few yards to aid the construction of its replacement. "It's been quite interesting. I've enjoyed the whole process," said Robert Seidel. "I'm just amazed by the engineering."
The contractor continued to make good progress today to set up the detour bridge. On the second day of the Sellwood Bridge closure progress included:
- Lifting the 10 bearing points of the truss span vertically several inches, in preparation for the big slide tomorrow. The truss span weighs 6.8 million pounds and is almost 1100 feet long.
- Demolition of another concrete span of the east approach
- Installation of deck panels for the east approach tie-in to the detour bridge
The attached photos show some of the dramatic changes that are being made to the 87-year-old structure. The truss span is now completely separated from the east and west approaches, so workers climb a six-story staircase to reach the span.
The project is on schedule for the horizontal slide of the truss span tomorrow, Saturday, January 19. Moving the span is expected to begin around 8:30 a.m. and last all day.
At this time, the project is on schedule for the bridge to reopen by 7 a.m. on Thursday, January 24.
New Sellwood Bridge earthworks project aimed at halting ancient landslide that caused structural damage for decadesBy Dana Tims, The Oregonian - January 18, 2013
One of the single biggest elements of the new Sellwood Bridge is one the public will never see, but its importance can't be overstated.
The project, technically known as "slope stabilization," aims at halting an ancient, ongoing westside landslide that determined why the bridge needs replacing and why it was built there in the first place. Tons of steel and concrete, artfully threaded among the bridge's supports, are intended to hold an entire hillside right where it is.
The work isn't nearly as eye-catching as the existing bridge's move, which gets under way today. Nearly all of the landslide project, after all, is buried beneath tons of earth.
The historic move of the 87-year-old Sellwood Bridge is already underway -- if, that is, the vertical aspect of the move counts.
Crews have already activated lifting jacks placed beneath the bridge's 10 weight-bearing points, hoisting the 1,100-foot-long steel truss about two and one-half inches off its concrete supports.
The horizontal "translation" of the bridge onto new, temporary supports just downstream from the existing alignment will get underway at about 8:30 a.m., Saturday.