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New Sellwood Bridge opens Monday night


COURTESY PHOTO: MULTNOMAH COUNTY  - Construction on the new steel deck arch bridge began in December 2011. It should be completed by November 2016.The new Sellwood Bridge was scheduled to opens to traffic at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 29.

According to Multnomah County, which owns the bridge, the old bridge closed on Feb. 25 so that the contractor could remove the jump span that connected it to the new bridge and prepare the new bridge for traffic. The contractor was able to reopen the bridge 10 hours ahead of schedule.

Opening the new bridge marks a major milestone in the project, but more work remains before the project is completed in November, the county says.

Upcoming work includes

Westside Trail: The westside trail from the bridge to Willamette Park is expected to open in late April. The wide trail will follow the trolley corridor and SW Miles Place.

Macadam Bay/Freeman Motors Driveway: The new driveway is expected to be completed in early April.

Removal of Detour Bridge Truss: The concrete features of the 90-year old Sellwood Bridge truss spans (deck, sidewalks and railings) will be removed in March and April. The steel truss will be disassembled and removed by crane in May and June.

Removal of Detour Bridge Piers: The piers and protective fenders will be removed from mid-June to late August during the in-water work season.

Removal of Work Bridges: The timber decks will be removed this spring. Pile removal will happen during the summer in-water work period.

Northbound Highway 43 Through Lane Under Bridge: This lane is expected to open in May.

Public Art Installation: Mikyoung Kim’s series of 23 Stratum sculptures will be installed on the north and south sides of SE Tacoma St. between SE 6th Ave. and SE Grand Ave. in May.

Highway 43 Final Paving: Scheduled for August.

Left Turn from Sellwood Bridge to Highway 43 South: This turn movement is expected to open in late August. It will eliminate the need for drivers to travel north and turn around at Taylors Ferry.

Taylors Ferry at Highway 43 Turnaround: The turnaround for bridge traffic to access Highway 43 south will be removed in August after the left turn from the bridge to Highway 43 south opens.

North Half of East Approach: The north half of the east approach could not be built until the east end of the detour bridge was removed. The contractor will drill foundations for the north half of the approach, build columns, install girders, deck and sidewalk. The north half will open in October. Until then, the east approach will have a narrow curving section with one shared-use six-foot wide sidewalk on the north side. The north sidewalk on the main spans is 12-feet wide.

South Sidewalk of New Bridge: The south sidewalk will open in November. The section on the east approach cannot be built until the north half of the east approach opens to traffic.

Tacoma & 6th Ave. Traffic Signal: The new signal will be activated in November, after final lane striping and completion of the east approach.

Swales: Bioswales to treat stormwater from the bridge will be installed on the east and west sides of the river from August to November.

Eastside Condominiums: Restoration and improvements to condo complexes on each side of the east approach are scheduled from February through October. Areas of the complexes were part of the project’s work zone.

Miscellaneous Bridge Work: From time to time, the contractor will be working on the new bridge to complete various work, including punch list items.