Sellwood Bridge Update- Construction makes a U-turn

MonthlyNL- BridgeUpdateThere’s a forest of cranes and construction equipment around our crumbly neighbor as crews rush to complete their work before this year’s window for in-water work closes.  (In-water work is only allowed from July through October to avoid disturbing the river bottom and disrupting the salmon migration).  The important thing to know is that the BRIDGE IS OPEN and will stay open until the new bridge is complete in 2016.  In the meantime, there’s a major traffic change you should know about as well

If you are crossing the Sellwood Bridge going west and intend to go south to Lake Oswego, you’ll have to make a slight detour.  The loop that carried bridge traffic to the south has been permanently closed, but the new interchange at the west end of the bridge isn’t built yet.  Since space in the construction area is limited, engineers had to get traffic out of the area to turn it around until construction is finished.  If you plan to head toward Lake Oswego you’ll now have to head north on Macadam to Taylor’s Ferry Road.   The County has built a dedicated loop road just off the Taylor’s Ferry Road signal.  You’ll take that, loop around, and be headed back south on Highway 43.   That’s all the basics, but if you want to see a video then KATU has a full report on the U-turn.

Below is a view looking north on Macadam at the Taylor’s Ferry Road signal.  You’ll turn left like you’re going onto Taylor’s Ferry, but then break right, go around the trees, and into the loop.

You’ll be tempted to make a U-turn at the first break in the median, but DON’T DO IT!  While we were out taking these pictures, an impatient driver in a yellow MR2 (you can barely see him) decided to take this shortcut.  He was almost creamed by the Stratus in front of us, and many drivers loudly expressed their displeasure at his creative driving.  Aside from the safety and consideration issues, your wallet can be hurt as well.  Traffic fines double in work zones, and this entire Sellwood Bridge Restoration area is a designated work zone.

Views of the hillside construction looking south toward L.O. and north toward downtown