Portland weather reports are pretty boring through the summer. They’re always “sunny and warm, with a slight chance of widely scattered showers”. The reports may be dull but you know it means the weather will be nice. It’s kinda the same with the Sellwood Bridge construction. The bridge is open, the work is continuing, and there’s a slight chance of occasional traffic slowdowns that (surprisingly) don’t happen very often. Our reports may be boring for many months to come, but that just means the construction is proceeding smoothly and there’s nothing interesting to report. No news is good news.
Environmental regulations to protect salmon runs mean work that disturbs the river bottom can be only be done from July 10 through October 15. With the July date upon us, pile driving will start on the west side of the river to complete the west work bridge and new river pier foundations. From July 10 – 31 the contractor plans to drive piles Monday through Saturday between 7 am and 6 pm. Pending progress in July, the contractor will shift to a Monday to Friday schedule in August.
We almost missed the passage of one major milestone this month- Here are two pictures of the easternmost in-river support point; one taken just after the ShooFly Move and one taken this week. Can you spot the difference?
That’s right, the original concrete support is gone! In fact, the westernmost one is gone too! We didn’t even notice it was gone until we went to take this week’s construction pictures. The County snuck in with a gigantic concrete saw and very quietly sliced up the 88-year-old towers. Mike Pullen with Multnomah County told us “When they are done this summer, they will be removed all the way to the mud line at river bottom. The third pier will remain to help protect the detour bridge from ship collisions. It will be removed at the end of the project. Concrete from the old piers is being used as fill by Ross Island Sand and Gravel”.
Here’s a couple more pictures from this month’s Sellwood Bridge Adventure…
Rebar reinforcement cage for the concrete footing of the east side landing of the bridge
If you want more info on any phase of the bridge project, there’s only one place to go (other than our Pulitzer Winning Sellwood Bridge Update column). Multnomah County maintains the definitive website on everything related to the Sellwood Bridge Replacement project, www.sellwoodbridge.org. Construction and closure alerts, archived information, and other resources are all available 24/7 for your convenience. Their two constantly updated live webcams of the bridge cams are available here. If you’re looking for something that’s not on the website, you can contact Mike Pullen (email@example.com, 503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.