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Sellwood Bridge closes in preparation of big move

Multnomah County will close the Sellwood Bridge for a week, starting at 5 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, to allow a contractor to set up a temporary “detour” bridge while a replacement bridge is built. The bridge will reopen at 7 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 24.

Motorists heading to Highway 43 are advised to use the Ross Island Bridge or Interstate 205 instead.

Travelers should expect more traffic congestion during the one-week bridge closure.

On Saturday, Jan. 19, subcontractor Omega Morgan will move the 1,100-foot truss span to the north and attach it to new river piers. That will be used as an alternate bridge during construction of the new Sellwood Bridge at its existing location.

Using the detour bridge is estimated to save the county $5 million to $10 million plus one year of construction time. It also should improve safety by separating traffic from bridge construction.

The public can monitor this phase of construction in real-time video at www.sellwoodbridge.com, and can track updates on Twitter @sellwoodbridge.