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Sellwood Bridge move now scheduled for January

by: MIKE PULLEN, MULTNOMAH COUNTY - Workers install the last of the transition beams atop the temporary bridge frameAs the end of the “in-river work” season comes to a close on October 15th, to protect runs of fish, efforts are kicking in to high gear for the Sellwood Bridge project.

“We’re going to a seven-day-a-week work schedule,” project spokesman Mike Pullen told THE BEE. “We’re working to get 120 steel piles into the river that will support the work bridges.”

From each shore, the contractor will build a “work bridge” – which is like a dock that extends from the bank to the new bridge piers, about 450 feet from the edge of water.

Over the next few weeks, Pullen said, pedestrians walking the old Sellwood Bridge will notice piers rising from the ground.

During September, the contractor completed installation of horizontal “transition” beams between the old bridge and the last of the detour bridge river piers. The central part of the bridge deck will be “slid” across these beams by Hillsboro-based subcontractor “Omega Morgan” in early January.

“Keep in mind that the bridge will be closed for about a week during this process,” Pullen said. For that reason, Multnomah County has deliberately scheduled the move of the Sellwood Bridge northward 40 feet to its new temporary piers – to allow construction of the new bridge, while the old one next to it serves as a detour – for after the Holidays.