Pull Back The Curtain… IT’S HERE!

Feature--Bridge-openThe NEW Sellwood Bridge opens February 27!

Well, this is an article we’ve been eager to write since construction started on the new Sellwood Bridge in 2012.  Believe it or not, after almost 4 years of construction…


The project won’t be completely finished until November because there’s still extensive work on the West Side, final tie-in and make-pretty work across the whole project, and of course the old bridge (which we’ve all been driving on for the past 4 years) has to be demolished.  But the New Bridge, the one we’ve all been waiting for, will be open with traffic flowing safely and smoothly along a span that is extremely unlikely to fall in the river.  Multnomah County and the Sellwood Neighborhood are throwing a party to celebrate, so we’d like to extend an official invitation to the festivities and tell you what to expect from the weekend’s events…RestOfNewsletter

Thursday, 2/25- Candlelight Goodbye, 730-830pm

The first thing you need to know is although the big party is Saturday, Feb 27, things actually start earlier.  On Thursday, Feb 25, the bridge will close after the rush hour traffic at 7p.  We’ll let Multnomah County explain things from there

“Fans of the old Sellwood Bridge will have one last chance to say goodbye. The old bridge will permanently close to traffic that day at 7 pm. From 7:30 – 8:30 pm, and residents can walk across the 90-year old bridge one last time to say goodbye. Bring your flashlights, electric candles, and phone lights for this candlelight event. A bagpiper in kilts will lead the gathered friends of the old bridge as we bid it farewell.

Participants should assemble on Grand Avenue off of Spokane street (near the bridge’s north sidewalk) no earlier than 7 pm. The procession starts at 7:30 pm. We’ll have time to walk from east to west and back again. The bridge will need to be cleared by 8:30 pm so that work to set up the new bridge for traffic can begin.”

Friday, 2/26- Construction and cleanup

Once all the mourners have gone, the detour bridge (the current bridge) will be completely closed to all traffic (cars, trucks, bikes, and pedestrians) so crews can dismantle the jump span between the bridges and prepare for Saturday’s extravaganza.

Saturday, 2/27- Opening Celebration, Noon to 4pm

The main event is Saturday from Noon to 4p.  Again, we’ll let Multnomah County give you the details…

“The community is invited to a celebration on the new bridge on Saturday, February 27. The new bridge opens for the free, family-friendly event at noon.  An opening ceremony and ribbon cutting will start the celebration around 1 pm, followed by the “Through the Decades” parade.  Food carts, retail and non-profit booths will be located on the bridge for the party. There will be entertainment on the main stage and along the bridge, and a few surprises.  The first to arrive will receive a Sellwood Bridge lapel pin to commemorate the day.

Due to limited parking, Sellwood neighbors are encouraged to walk or bike to the event. Bicycle parking will be provided at the east end of the bridge. Dress warm and bring an umbrella!

The bridge opening celebration is generously sponsored by the four companies that have been most involved with designing, managing, and building the project: CH2M, Inc., David Evans and Associates, Inc., the Slayden-Sundt Joint Venture, and T.Y. Lin International. Special thanks to members of SMILE (the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League) and the Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance for their support for the celebration.”

Sunday and Monday, 2/28-2/29 Final construction and cleanup

Whatever’s left to be done has to be done in these two days, because…

Tuesday, 3/1- Bridge fully opens to traffic!

On Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 6 am, the new bridge will open to traffic!  As we said, the area will be a construction zone until November 2016, so expect flaggers and occasional traffic changes (especially on the West Side).  But you can drive easy knowing the hardest part is over!

What’s still left to be done?

Quite a bit, really, but nothing compared to the massive amount of work that’s been done so far.  The graphic below is from SellwoodBridge.org, and it hits the high points.  If you want the higher-res PDF version, it’s available here.


How can I stay up-to-date through the rest of the project?

We have a couple sources for you.  First, we’d like to recommend our own Sellwood Bridge Update, our monthly newsletter column in which we give you the skinny on the Bridge from our front-row vantage point.  But really, the best way to stay up on any aspect of the Sellwood Bridge Project is to go to the incredible SellwoodBridge.org.  This County website has full information on history and construction along with photos, drawings, videos, and more.


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