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Highway closure, bridge pedal drive weekend traffic problems

Get ready for traffic troubles in Portland this weekend.

First, beginning late Friday night, Interstate 5 will be shut down for about five hours for construction of the Gibbs Street pedestrian bridge in Southwest Portland.

Then, on Sunday, the annual Providence Bridge Pedal will close the bridges in downtown Portland most of the morning.

The I-5 lane closure begins at 11:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12 and will last until 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. All lanes of the highway will be closed and traffic will be rerouted. The highway should be reopened by 9 a.m. Saturday.

After Friday night's closure, the I-5 northbound lanes, the I-405 on-ramp from I-5 northbound, and I-405 north exit 1A/Naito Parkway will close again Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 16 to 18, starting at 7:30 p.m., with a full closure starting at 11:30 p.m. and ending at 4:30 a.m. the following morning.

Work crews will install signs on the new sign bridge and remove an existing sign bridge across the northbound lanes. The I-5 southbound lanes and access from I-405 south to I-5 south will remain open at all times during this work.

Northbound traffic on I-5 will again be diverted to exit 299A and be able to rejoin I-5 a few hundred yards north of the exit. Motorists heading to I-405 north and Hwy 26 west will follow this route and be detoured onto I-5 north, where they can connect with I-405 south at the Fremont Bridge. The freeway will fully open by 5:30 a.m. each morning following the work.

The city of Portland and Oregon's Department of Transportation are building the 700-foot Gibbs street pedestrian bridge over I-5 to connect the Lair Hill neighborhood to the South Waterfront district. The bridge will be built under the Portland Aerial Tram, serve pedestrians and cyclists, and be made of painted steel with a concrete decking.

It should be completed by February 2012.

Pedaling the bridges

On Sunday, Aug. 14, nine Willamette River bridges and the streets connecting them will be closed to accommodate thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Because of that, drivers should expect delays on nearly all Portland bridges. The St. Johns Bridge will be open to traffic. The Morrison Bridge is not part of the event, but is closed westbound from the Central Eastside due to construction.

During the Bridge Pedal, the Sellwood Bridge will be closed to westbound traffic from 5:30 to 9 a.m. The Ross Island Bridge will be closed to westbound traffic from 4:30 to 10:30 a.m. The Marquam Bridge will be closed to northbound (upper deck) traffic from 4:30 to 11 a.m. The Hawthorne Bridge will be closed to eastbound traffic (except TriMet buses) from 6 to 11 a.m. The Burnside Bridge will be closed to westbound traffic from 6:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Steel Bridge will be closed to eastbound traffic from 5:45 until 10 a.m. MAX trains will operate on the Steel Bridge. The Broadway Bridge will be closed to eastbound traffic from 6:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The Fremont Bridge will be closed to southbound (upper deck) traffic from 5 a.m. until noon, with access by bicyclists ending at 11:30 a.m. The St. Johns Bridge will close one lane in each direction (with one lane remaining open in each direction) from 6 a.m. to noon.