Multnomah County Board approves final design for new Sellwood Bridge

Thursday, 7/19/12 - 3:03 pm

Multnomah County’s Board of County Commissioners approved the final design for the new Sellwood Bridge today, a $299 million project.

The final design includes:

  • Steel deck arch bridge
  • A symmetrical bridge deck design with two traffic lanes, two bike lane/shoulders, and two multi-use raised paths for bicyclists and pedestrians 
  • One-stage bridge construction using a detour bridge
  • Concrete arch culvert for Stephen’s Creek
  • East and westside bio-swale water treatment facilities
  • New access to Macadam Bay floating homes on south side of Freeman Motors
  • Westside regional trail along trolley line leading to Southwest Miles Place

Construction of the detour bridge and landslide mitigation are in progress. Construction of the work bridge for the new bridge and excavation work on Highway 43 are expected to begin in late summer. The new bridge is expected to open to traffic in 2015, with project completion scheduled for early 2016.

Commissioner Deborah Kafoury expressed support for the symmetrical deck design.

"I’m happy that people are thinking of ways to save money to make changes to the project,” Kafoury said. “And I’m also happy to have the opportunity to listen to the community when they say we don’t want those changes.”

Chair Jeff Cogen talked about the difficulties of building a major project with limited public resources.

“Our challenge is making sure we have a bridge that will last on beyond all of our lives and is worthy of the work, and at the same time balances scarce public resources," Chair Cogen said. “It’s not an easy balance but I think today we have made the right decision.”

Chair Cogen also praised the project’s community outreach efforts.

“We also have to stay true to what we’ve promised to the residents of the community and what the residents of the community really value,” Cogen said.

For project information, visit www.sellwoodbridge.org. Multnomah County maintains the Sellwood Bridge and leads the project to replace it.