The Sellwood Bridge is FINISHED!

Feature- Bridge FINISHED…and here’s the WHOLE story on how it happened.

Since 2008, the renovation of the Sellwood Bridge has been the defining reality of our life here at the shop.   Construction has only been happening since 2011, but we’ve been there from the very beginning in 2008 as the basic design was being worked out.  The old Sellwood bridge was a crumbling death trap and desperately needed to be replaced, but the process of replacement has cost us many clients, caused manRestOfNewslettery headaches, and we’re darn glad to see it finished!  To celebrate, we’ll start the New Year by looking back at this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime project from beginning to end from our own prime seats where we’ve been for 30 years; right at the East End of the Sellwood Bridge…

bridge-finished-headerMonthlyNL- BridgeUpdateOur main way of communicating information about the progress of the Bridge renovation has been our Sellwood Bridge Update column, where each month we covered major milestones, kept folks briefed on closures, and tried to find bridge-related information during some of the slower parts of the project.  We’ll show you all those columns below if you’d like to browse through them, but before we do we’d like to direct you to some highlights about the project…

The Great Sellwood Bridge Scandal… of 1924

How Safe Are The Bridges of Portland?

Sellwood Bridge Overruns Lead To Lawsuit From Contractor; Officials Kept Rising Costs ‘Confidential’

Sellwood Bridge: First Steel Arch Pieces Arrive By Barge (Photos)

Sellwood Bridge’s Construction Divers Brave Cold, Murky Willamette River For The Sake Of Industry

Pieces Of New Sellwood Bridge Float On River

Removing the first block of the last piling of the old Sellwood Bridge (Video)

Aerial Photos has a great series of aerial photos from each month during the project, as well as a full gallery of pictures of every aspect of the project from start to finish.


This before-and-after image from Victor von Salza is one of hundreds of stunning images of the Bridge and its construction available at the Flickr Photo Pool for the Bridge Project.

The new Sellwood Bridge had its Grand Opening when it opened to traffic on Feb 27, 2016, although the project wouldn’t be complete until Nov 2017. Here’s coverage of the event from The Oregonian, YouTube, and the Portland Tribune.


Our trivia question “Which three Portland bridges are currently earthquake rated?” served as a springboard to talk about emergency preparedness. Don’t know which bridges will stand up to the Big One? The answer is here.


Unbelievably, the Old Bridge was moved 60′ to be the traffic bridge while the New Bridge was under construction. It was a record-setting, complex engineering feat and we (and a few other folks) brought you complete coverage of the Move.

MonthlyNL- BridgeUpdateAnd here, as promised, are all 75 columns of our Sellwood Bridge Update column for you to enjoy.  Each one is a priceless piece of writing that will inspire future generations, but we’ve noted some of the ones that are particularly interesting.  Enjoy!


Sellwood Bridge Update– Our very first Bridge Update column


 Sellwood Bridge Update- Until the day it’s rebuilt

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Fame visits our shabby neighbor– The Sellwood Bridge does stunt work for TV’s “Leverage”

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Some things never change…

 Sellwood Bridge Update- The Sellwood Bridge wins an award. No joke!– The Bridge wins an award before the digging even starts

 Sellwood Bridge Update- You’ll never believe THIS…– The announcement of the plan to use the old bridge during construction

 Sellwood Bridge measure 3-372– One of our KPOJ spots about the need for bridge funding

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Vote “Yes” on Measure 3-372– Funding for the Bridge went before Clackamas County voters…

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Looking forward after the Clackamas vote– …and it lost.

 Sellwood Bridge Update- THEY STARTED!!!– The first construction of any kind begins

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Drilling continues; mystery dock solved

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Closer… closer… closer…

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Crumbling bridge is focus for rally– The Bridge was such an icon of crumbling infrastructure that it was the focus of a political rally advocating infrastructure investment

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Wasn’t there a building under the bridge?

 Sellwood Bridge Update- It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!– The real construction starts


 Sellwood Bridge Update- A year in the life of our wobbly neighbor– We recap the first full year of construction, including tattoos

 Sellwood Bridge Update- More than a crumbling relic… a teachable moment!

 Sellwood Bridge Update- It’s quiet, but moving along

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Hurry up and wait

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Goodbye For Now, Trees

Goodbye to the trees on Hwy 43 on the west bank

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Construction hits home– The buildings across from our shop were cleared to make way for the project management trailers that would remain for the rest of the project

 Sellwood Bridge Update- How to save $287

 Now they’re getting serious

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Slowing down for Fall– River construction had to stop to avoid interfering with salmon… who knew?

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Shoo Fly don’t bother me. Until January.


 Sellwood Bridge Update- Last year for the Bridge comes to a close

 Welcome Back, Buddy- A photo essay on the Sellwood Bridge’s big move– The Bridge move was a record-setting engineering feat that brought out all Sellwood

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Come try the like-new Bridge!

 Sellwood Bridge Update- An explosive Bridge Update!

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Steady and mostly quiet

 Sellwood Bridge Update- A sneak peek behind-the-scenes– Our Tom Dwyer Bridge Update Team was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Construction continuing smoothly

 Sellwood Bridge Update- What’s missing in this picture?– The old concrete supports start coming down

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Three big changes you need to know about

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Construction makes a U-turn

 Sellwood Bridge Update- The “Saturday Night Live” bridge?

 Sellwood Bridge Update- A different way to look at things

 Sellwood Bridge Update- New traffic signal makes life easier

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Don’t let the bridge bother you


 Sellwood Bridge Update- Rare bridge closure, February 15-19

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Movin’ smooth… come on down!

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Computers power the reconstruction

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Save $200 during the upcoming Bridge Closure

 Sellwood Bridge Update- A Peek At What’s Coming Up– The first concrete supports go in, plus we get a first look at the gigantic steel arches being fabricated in Vancouver

 Sellwood Bridge Update-  A Bird’s Eye View Of The Progress

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Gone Fishin’

 Sellwood Bridge Tour– As the project reached 50%, we were treated to another behind-the-scenes tour.  Fascinating pictures!

 Sellwood Bridge Update- The Bridge Arches are done

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Goodbye to the last old support

 Sellwood Bridge Update- The whole Bridge construction in 3 minutes– A look at the animation video of the construction plan

 What happened while the Bridge was closed


 Sellwood Bridge Update

 Sellwood Bridge Update- New Opening Date Announced– Small funding squabbles emerged; they didn’t stop the project

 Sellwood Bridge Update- The next set of arches is here

 Sellwood Bridge Update for April 2015– As the arches rose, the concrete was crumbling

 Sellwood Bridge Update- When will the Bridge be finished?

 Sellwood Bridge Update for June– Our reporter takes a summer cruise under the bridge and brings back pictures

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Which Portland bridges are earthquake-rated?– The answer is, and was, terrifying

 Bridge Update- Surprising answer to our Trivia question

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Will bad bolts bang the Bridge?– Faulty bolts were nothing more than a speed bump

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Big Westside changes on the way

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Major Westside traffic change

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Tentative opening date announced!


 2015 Got Us Much, Much Closer…

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Pull Back The Curtain… It’s HERE!– The new Bridge would open to traffic (but not be complete) on Feb 27

 Behind the Scenes of the NEW Sellwood Bridge– We got a final peek behind the fences just before the opening.  More pictures!

 Sellwood Bridge Update- A Tour of the Impossible– Tower cranes can’t possibly exist.  Yet they apparently do.

 Sellwood Bridge Update- The naked bridge– With the new Bridge up, the old one was coming down

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Another Major Milestone

 Sellwood Bridge Update- Goodbye to the Big Steel– The trusswork from the old Bridge was being lowered onto barges for recycling

 What’s up with the Bridge closures?

 On-schedule, over budget, and artsy

 Sellwood Bridge Update- They’ve handed it over to the goats

The long strange trip is almost over– The last guy with a hardhat had to be gone by November… they made it!

Our last Sellwood Bridge Update column ever!– We drop the mic on the project and head home.  Peace!

MonthlyNL- BridgeUpdateend-of-update



This entry was posted in 2017 January, Feature Articles, Newsletter Columns, Newsletters. Bookmark the permalink.