April 27, 2010

The project to replace the Sellwood Bridge entered a new phase this month as an advisory group of citizens, the Community Advisory Committee, began meeting to consider which type of bridge they think the Sellwood’s replacement should be.

The committee got their initial look at the bridge types that are on the table at their first meeting April 12. The range of types available is limited by a few factors. The replacement bridge must:

  • cost less than $170 million*
  • be able to be constructed without long-term traffic closures
  • have a small construction footprint to minimize residential, business, and environmental impacts
  • not have a barrier in the median, for maintenance and operations reasons
  • accommodate a potential future streetcar

Even with those limitations, the committee has twelve bridge types from which to choose. These types can be basically grouped into five categories: box/delta girder, Y-leg/delta frame, extradosed, deck arch, and thru arch.

To view computer-generated images of the choices, go to Multnomah County's public Facebook page.

The Community Advisory Committee will meet monthly from now until September, when they will make their recommendation to the Public Stakeholders Committee (PSC), a group of elected and appointed officials from jurisdictions involved in the project. The PSC will consider citizen input before recommending a bridge type to the county Board of Commissioners, which will select a bridge type this fall. All committee meetings are open to the public and include time for testimony.

Go to the Sellwood Bridge Project website to learn more and view full presentations about the bridge types and this project phase.

*The bridge structure is estimated to account for up to $170 million of the total project cost of $330 million.Other major project costs include the Highway 43 interchange, land for right of way, and design and construction engineering.