Morrison Bridge lawsuit begins, court docs revealed

New documents reveal contractor doesn't want bridge evidence shown in court

Court documents show contractors may have known about Morrison Bridge problems early on. February 17, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
Court documents show contractors may have known about Morrison Bridge problems early on. February 17, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — New documents released Tuesday reveal contractors may have known about problems with the Morrison Bridge, and may have tried to keep them a secret.

Last month, video released by Multnomah County showed large cracks in the beams holding up the bridge and large pieces of the deck coming loose.

“We’re going to keep it open as long as we believe it’s safe to do so and we have closed one of its six lanes, which isn’t a good sign,” Mike Pullen, Multnomah County, told KOIN 6 News in January.

New documents show the situation is getting messier — the court battle continues over what went wrong, and who knew about what early on. Commuters have been dealing with frustrations associated with the Morrison Bridge for weeks, and for three years, the county has been talking about the problem.

“We’re basically just putting band-aids on it until the litigation is resolved and we have a design and funding to completely replace the deck that was installed about three years ago,” Pullen previously said.

In a court battle that began Tuesday, contractor Zellcomp revealed it doesn’t want a jury to see 53 pieces of evidence related to the bridge. According to Zellcomp, the exhibits are hearsay — they said they are both irrelevant and unduly prejudicial.

But KOIN 6 News learned the county said some of the evidence shows the contractors moved the project forward, despite having concerns.

The Portland Mercury initially shed light on e-mails related to the Morrison Bridge case Monday. A county spokesperson said bridge inspections may slow down this week as the court case continues.

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