Slow down: Portland bridge work to begin in April

Three bridges will be repaired in upcoming projects

construction workers on the Sellwood Bridge. (David F. Ashton, Pamplin Media Group)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County is planning on repairing three bridges in upcoming projects and it will cause traffic to be pretty messy.

“I think our bridge manager would say the Broadway and Morrison projects are kind of emergencies,” MIke Pullen with the county said.

Here is a description of the three projects:

Broadway Bridge: May – October 2017

Rall wheel replacement. Four 88,000 pound steel wheels that roll on tracks to open the  bridge for ships to pass will be replaced. The wheels and tracks are worn and cracked after 104 years of use.

“Those wheels, they’re moving parts and the tracks they roll on are really worn steel parts,” Pullen said.

Traffic impact: The Streetcar will still run, but the two outside traffic lanes will be closed from early May until October. Two inside traffic lanes and both sidewalks will remain open at most times. Several weekend and night bridge closures required.

Burnside Bridge: April 2017 – November 2019

Maintenance project. Complete a number of repairs to keep the bridge in service 15-20 years. These include structural, mechanical, electrical and surface repairs.

“We’re basically fixing a lot of areas on the bridge that need repairs,” Pullen said.

Traffic impact: No lanes will be closed on the bridge until fall 2017, when other bridge projects are complete. In April and May 2017, there will be four weekends when I-5 and I-84 are closed in one direction under the bridge. The first weekend closure is from 10 pm on April 14 until 4:30 am on April 17. Lane closures on SW Naito under bridge in fall 2017. Two lanes closed on bridge from late 2017 – 2019.

The Burnside repairs won’t start until the other two are finished.

Morrison Bridge April – October 2017

Lift span replacement. Replace the failing deck on the lift span with a new deck.

“I think that’s one of the most visible problems of the three bridge projects,” Pullen said.

Traffic impact: Four of six traffic lanes will be closed during the work. One lane will remain open in each direction. Westbound access from the east side will be limited to freeway access only. Eastbound trips to downtown from east side streets must use a different bridge. There will be bridge closures of 7-10 days in June and September to allow the new concrete deck to cure. Vehicle speed and weight limits on the bridge will be increased after project.