PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Big changes came to the Morrison Bridge on Monday ahead of a construction project.
Four of the 6 traffic lanes closed at 7 a.m. so crews could start work to replace the failing bridge deck. That leaves only one lane open in each direction in addition to the sidewalk/bike path on the south side of the bridge.
The 4 lanes will remain closed until the bridge lift-span deck is replaced in October.
The ramp from SW Naito Parkway southbound to Morrison Bridge eastbound will be closed forcing traffic to use SW Morrison St. and SW 2nd Ave. to access the bridge. However, ramps from the bridge to SW Naito Parkway and SE Water Avenue will remain open.
Freeway ramps to and from the bridge will also remain open, but due to the limited merge space where I-5 southbound traffic exits on to the bridge, westbound traffic from SE Grand Ave. and SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. will not be able to access downtown across the bridge. Westbound drivers from the central eastside will need to use another bridge to cross the Willamette. Westbound drivers will be able to use the ramp thought to access I-5 northbound.
The traffic pattern on the bridge will change several times during the next six months as the contractor replaces different areas of the lift span deck. Multi-day closures will be needed in June and September when concrete is poured for the deck, and several shorter closures will be needed on nights or weekends.
This project will replace the lift-span deck which is made of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) that was installed in 2011 – 2012 and began to fail soon after installation. The new deck will have a steel grating with a top layer filled with lightweight concrete.