When the Sellwood Bridge was opened 87 years ago, the designers assured the community that the steel Willamette River crossing would provide safe passage for at least 50 years. They were right.
But by the 1970s, Multnomah County officials realized the bridge would need replacement; repeated compression and crumpling of elements of the west-end approach – not yet identified as being caused by the slipping of an ancient landslide upon which the bridge had been built – made it clear that repairs would not be enough. But, one set of Commissioners after another deferred the project, “kicking the can down the road” for their successors to worry about.
After decades of patching and bracing the west-side ramp to the bridge, the Multnomah County Commissioners in 2006 started what would become a ten-year project to replace the bridge.
Blogger Karen I. Westphalen has created another installment in her series of slideshows featuring images and audio about the construction of the new Sellwood Bridge.
The Sellwood Bridge project team thanks the Ugly Mug Coffee Shop and members of the community for their generous delivery of homemade cookies, in thanks for last week's early bridge opening. We appreciate your support. Here is the Facebook post from the Ugly Mug that started the cookie campaign:
THANK THE BRIDGE WORKERS WITH COOKIES! One of our bodacious baristas has launched a cookie campaign to thank the TOTALLY AWESOME Sellwood Bridge crew for, well... being so awesome! We want to let them know how thankful we are for the renewed safety of our beloved community. We welcome you to join in! Bake your favorite treats and deliver them to the Mug by 11:30a this Monday (1/28) and we will happily gather and deliver all the love. Sign up at the Mug, or send us your response via FB to give us an idea of how many people would like to be involved. And be sure to stop in & sign our THANK YOU card! We ♥ Sellwood!
Sellwood Bridge coughs up the year's first spring chinook, but project alters boating, fishing on the Willamette RiverBy Bill Monroe, The Oregonian - January 26, 2013
The air is still, the water calm, glassy ... green.
Fogbanks wisp softly across the West Hills, testing the distant pulse of downtown Portland. Parts of buildings, the tram, vehicle lights whimsically come and go from view.
A sea lion swirls on the river's surface. It is, after all, getting close to spring chinook salmon season.
But as John Shmilenko of Portland swings his boat into the current to troll atop Sellwood's traditional honey hole, it takes a few seconds to realize the "whop-whop-whop" in my ears isn't a defective sparkplug in his trolling motor.