In the first phase, one lane will remain open in each direction along with the multiuse path on the south side of the bridge. While the ramp from SW Naito Parkway southbound to Morrison Bridge eastbound is closed, traffic will detour to SW Morrison St. and SW 2nd Ave. to access the bridge. 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. Due to the limited merge space where I-5 southbound traffic exits on to the bridge, westbound traffic from SE Grand Avenue 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 an alternate crossing such as the Hawthorne or Burnside bridges. Westbound traffic from the central eastside will be able to use the westbound ramp to access I-5 north.
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.
The project will replace a deck 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. The new deck will be strong enough to allow trucks and buses to again use the bridge and will have a solid top to provide good traction for drivers. The 35 mile per hour speed limit will be restored after the new deck is installed.
Hamilton Construction of Springfield, Oregon is the general contractor for the $10.4 million project.
The contractor plans to do night work from Sunday, April 2 starting at 11 p.m. until Monday, April 3 at 4 a.m. that will require a series of bridge openings lasting as long as twenty minutes. Bridge users can avoid delays by using an alternate crossing during the night work.
Multnomah County maintains the Morrison Bridge and five other Willamette River bridges. For more information, visit www.multco.us/bridges or @MultcoBridges on Twitter. For information about public agency infrastructure projects throughout the central city, visit Get Portland Moving at MovePDX.net.