Multnomah County operates four Willamette River drawbridges in the City of Portland: the Broadway, Burnside, Hawthorne and Morrison bridges. In most situations, river traffic has priority over road traffic when a vessel requests a bridge opening. The main exception is during peak hours for commute traffic. In Portland, drawbridges are not required to open for river traffic between the hours of 7 am-9 am and between 4 pm-6 pm Mondays through Fridays.
At other times, a river vessel can request a bridge opening by calling the Hawthorne Bridge operator at 503.988.3452. The operator can schedule an opening for any of the four drawbridges. During normal business hours (9 am-4 pm Mondays through Fridays) vessels should call at least one hour in advance to request a bridge opening. At other times, two hours advance notice is requested.
The United States Coast Guard regulates the hours for bridge closures to river traffic and issues local notices to mariners when a bridge closure to river traffic is scheduled.
Vertical Clearances for Multnomah County’s Willamette River Bridges
The standard measurement for vertical clearance for river traffic passing below a Willamette River Bridge is Columbia River datum. Bridge clearances are measured from a zero river level for the datum, which compares to the normal annual low flow level. Vertical clearances for the County’s Willamette River bridges (without a drawbridge opening) are:
- Broadway: 89 feet
- Burnside: 64 feet
- Hawthorne: 49 feet
- Morrison: 69 feet
- Sauvie Island: 80 feet
- Sellwood: 75 feet
The Sauvie Island and Sellwood bridges are fixed spans that do not have a drawbridge.
For current information on Willamette River levels in Portland, visit: