Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Heavy (party) traffic greets new Sellwood Bridge

Share



After more than four years and $317 million, the new Sellwood Bridge opened Saturday and was promptly swamped by hundreds celebrating the new structure.

The new bridge opened at about noon Feb. 27, with a parade of vintage cars. An opening ceremony featured speeches by Multnomah County and Portland city leaders, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and others involved in the process. People arriving early to the event received Sellwood Bridge lapel pins to commemorate the opening.

COURTESY PHOTO: MULTNOMAH COUNTY - Construction on the new steel deck arch bridge began in December 2011. It should be completed by November 2016.COURTESY PHOTO: MULTNOMAH COUNTY - A plaque fromt the 1925 dedication of the original Sellwood Bridge was cut from the aging structure and will be preserved. The old bridge will be demolished and recycled.Booths with food, shops and nonprofit groups were stationed on the new structure. Music was provided by the Transcendental Brass Band, LoveBomb Go-Go Marching Band, the New Iberians, School of Rock and groups from Sellwood Middle School and Cleveland High School.

The 90-year-old original Sellwood Bridge closed Thursday evening, Feb. 25, with a candlelight walk across the structure one last time. Most of the old structure will be demolished and recycled.TRIBUNE PHOTO: ALVARO FONTAN - A drone's view of the new $317 million Sellwood Bridge shows Saturday's opening celebration. The bridge will open to traffic Tuesday, March 1.

The original bridge opened in mid-December 1925, with its 300-foot deck standing about 75 above the Willamette River. Gilpin Construction Co. built the bridge for $541,000 (nearly $7 million in today’s dollars).

The new $317 million bridge was built by Slayden-Sundt Joint Venture, and T.Y. Lin International. It officially opens to traffic on Tuesday, March 1.

More construction is needed to complete the project, which should be finished by November.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DAVID ASHTON - Multnomah County spokesman Mike Pullen wore a Fremont Bridge costume Saturday to celebrate the new Sellwood Bridge opening.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DAVID ASHTON - Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury was one of several speakers who talked about the importance of the new Sellwood Bridge.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DAVID ASHTON - Anna Blosser cut the ribbon to open the new Sellwood Bridge Saturday afternoon.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DAVID ASHTON - A Milburn Light electric car led a parade of vintage vehicles Saturday afternoon to open the new $317 million Sellwood Bridge.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DAVID ASHTON - Hundreds of people walked across the new Sellwood Bridge to celebrate its opening Saturday afternoon, Feb. 27.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DAVID ASHTON - A Portland Fire & Rescue boat joined Saturday afternoon's celebration of the new Sellwood Bridge.