Sellwood Bridge Update- A sneak peek behind-the-scenes

aaaBridgeUpdateButtonWork is continuing on the Sellwood Bridge but it can be a little hard to tell.  We see the flaggers, we see the traffic, but now that the Shoo Fly Move is over we don’t see the progress.  That’s because most of the work is taking place on the south side of the bridge, down near the water, where crews are building work bridges from the shore to provide access to the bridge for construction.  It’s hard to get pictures of the construction from publicly accessible areas, so we sent one of our Your Car Matters photographers to meet with Mike Pullen, spokesman for the Sellwood Bridge project, for a quick peek behind the scenes.  Just click any of the pictures for a larger version.RestOfNewsletter

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This is about the best view you can get from public areas. It’s taken from the east side of the bridge, at the top of the embankment. You can barely see the work bridge behind the crane, but that will become clearer in a moment.

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Here’s Mike Pullen standing in one of the steel supports to give you a sense of scale.

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The steel pipes visible behind the yellow truck will become anchors where the bridge arch meets the bank. This oscillator machine will put the steel pipes in without digging.

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This steel is left over from the Shoo Fly move. It will eventually be recycled, but for now it sits stacked below the bridge.

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Here’s a view of the work bridge as it extends out from the east bank looking west. It may be a temporary thing, but it’s far from flimsy. When finished, it will have a “roadbed” made of 12”x12” timbers, sufficient to hold the cranes that will use it during construction.

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Another view of the work bridge as it wraps around the east-most piling of the old bridge. A similar platform will eventually extend from the west side to almost meet the east side platform, leaving a gap between the two for river traffic. Crews will start pouring footings for the west side pilings in July.

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Those concrete pillars are supports left over from the old bridge, and will have to be removed. You can see the metal tracks crews set into the sides of the pillars. These tracks will hold gigantic concrete saws that will cut the pillars apart piece-by-piece.

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