Bridge Update- Surprising answer to our Trivia question

aaaBridgeUpdateButton6th and Tacoma pictures

Any inconvenience of the Bridge construction is vastly overrated.  Sure, the area is torn up and flaggers abound, but the bridge traffic usually moves smoothly and consistently.  That changed for us in the last week in July as construction focused on the intersection of 6th and Tenino St.  A new traffic signal will be going in as part of the Bridge project, and crews had closed the intersection for the whole week while they put in the underground stuff for the light.  It will be a big change for us when it’s activated, and should greatly reduce the difficulty of a left turn onto the Bridge.6thTenino Rendering

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Bridge Trivia answer

There has been quite a lot of furor over the New Yorker’s recent article about an impending major quake in the Northwest, so the answer to last month’s Trivia Question seems particularly important.  As we told you then, the Northwest is about 73 years overdue for the Big One.  One of the area’s biggest vulnerabilities is the structural integrity of our bridges, because aside from the devastation if a bridge collapses during the quake itself, the loss of transportation for repair and rebuilding would be crippling for years to come.  So, in our July newsletter, we asked “Which of Portland’s bridges are CURRENTLY earthquake-rated?”  Here are the bridges we counted as “Portland bridges” for the question…

Marquam Bridge (I-5 over Willamette)      Sauvie’s Island Bridge

Interstate Bridge (I-5 over Columbia)     St. Johns Bridge

Fremont Bridge     Broadway Bridge     Steel Bridge     Ross Island Bridge

Burnside Bridge     Morrison Bridge     Hawthorne Bridge

Glen Jackson Bridge (I-205 over Columbia)     Sellwood Bridge

Abernethy Bridge (I-205 over Willamette)     Tilikum Crossing

And we started you off with this hint… of the 15 bridges listed above, only THREE are earthquake rated!

Only a few people took us up on the contest, and unfortunately, none of them had the right answers.  We also asked riders in our Courtesy Shuttle if they knew, but no joy there either.  Pretty much everybody got one of them… the new Tilikum bridge is currently up to spec.  Other answers were (literally) all over the map, with the Marquam and Fremont getting a few nods.  But wrong there, too.  So, here are the actual answers, as confirmed by the Multnomah County Communications Office (the folks in charge of communication for the Bridge Project)…

The Tilikum Crossing,

The new Sauvie’s Island Bridge,

…and (believe it or not) The Sellwood Bridge!

Yes, you’re reading that right… our wobbly neighbor, ground zero for construction in Portland since 2012, is currently one of the only three earthquake-rated bridges in Portland!  Here’s why… no regulation required the old Sellwood Bridge be brought up to earthquake spec (which is one reason the other twelve area bridges haven’t been addressed yet).  BUT… the move of the old span to new supports meant the temporary bridge would have to be regulated as a new build during construction.  It would have to meet earthquake code.  Although the old bridge was dangerously compromised, most of the structural damage was on the farthest west end of the bridge and the main part of the river span was in surprisingly good shape.  By cutting the damaged part away and just moving the structurally sound part onto the new, earthquake-ready supports, the engineers kept the old Sellwood Bridge safe and dignified in these last few years of its life.

Looks like we’ll be holding on to those spiffy First Aid kits we were offering as prizes, but don’t worry… we’ll have another chance for you to win soon!

Here’s the Horse’s Mouth…

As always, 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.  If you’re looking for something that’s not on the website, you can contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridge Trivia answer

There has been quite a lot of furor over the New Yorker’s recent article about an impending major quake in the Northwest, so the answer to last month’s Trivia Question seems particularly important.  As we told you then, the Northwest is about 73 years overdue for the Big One.  One of the area’s biggest vulnerabilities is the structural integrity of our bridges, because aside from the devastation if a bridge collapses during the quake itself, the loss of transportation for repair and rebuilding would be crippling for years to come.  So, in our July newsletter, we asked “Which of Portland’s bridges are CURRENTLY earthquake-rated?”  Here are the bridges we counted as “Portland bridges” for the question…

 

 

Marquam Bridge (I-5 over Willamette)

Interstate Bridge (I-5 over Columbia)

Sauvie’s Island Bridge

St. Johns Bridge

Fremont Bridge

Broadway Bridge

Steel Bridge

Burnside Bridge

Morrison Bridge

Hawthorne Bridge

Ross Island Bridge

Sellwood Bridge

Glen Jackson Bridge (I-205 over Columbia)

Abernethy Bridge (I-205 over Willamette)

Tilikum Crossing

 

 

And we started you off with this hint… of the 15 bridges listed above, only THREE are earthquake rated!

 

Only a few people took us up on the contest, and unfortunately, none of them had the right answers.  We also asked riders in our Courtesy Shuttle if they knew, but no joy there either.  Pretty much everyone got one of them… the new Tilikum bridge is currently up to spec.  Other answers were all over the map, with the Marquam and Fremont getting a few nods.  But wrong there, too.  So, here are the actual answers, as confirmed by the Multnomah County Communications Office (the folks in charge of communication for the Bridge Project)…

The Tilikum Crossing,

The new Sauvie’s Island Bridge,

…and (believe it or not) The Sellwood Bridge!

 

Yes, you’re reading that right… our wobbly neighbor, ground zero for construction in Portland since 2012, is currently one of the only three earthquake-rated bridges in Portland!  Here’s why… no regulation required the old Sellwood Bridge be brought up to earthquake spec (which is one reason the other twelve area bridges have been addressed yet).  BUT… the move of the old span to new supports meant the temporary bridge would have to be regulated as a new build during construction.  It would have to meet earthquake code.  Although the old bridge was dangerously compromised, most of the structural damage was on the farthest west end of the bridge and the main part of the river span was in surprisingly good shape.  By cutting the damaged part away and just moving the structurally sound part onto the new, earthquake-ready supports, the engineers kept the old Sellwood Bridge safety and dignified in these last few years of its life.

 

Looks like we’ll be holding on to those spiffy First Aid kits we were offering as prizes, but don’t worry… we’ll have another chance for you to win soon!

 

Here’s the Horse’s Mouth…

As always, 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.  If you’re looking for something that’s not on the website, you can contact Mike Pullen (mike.j.pullen@multco.us503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.

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