Sellwood Bridge Wins AGC Build America Award

Sellwood Bridge webTEMPE (March 6, 2018) – Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Oregon, constructed by Slayden/Sundt, A Joint Venture, won a prestigious Build America award in the category of Best New Highway and Transportation project from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

The project, performed for Multnomah County, replaced the state’s busiest bridge and the community’s only crossing over the Willamette River for 12 miles. Sellwood Bridge was more than 90 years old and deteriorating when Slayden/Sundt was awarded the project. The team spent five years constructing a new bridge and applied a variety of innovative approaches throughout the construction process.

To allow traffic to continue flowing during construction, the Slayden/Sundt team used a “shoofly,” or detour bridge. The team lifted the old bridge deck and truss with hydraulic jacks and moved it to one side, placing it on a set of temporary support piers. It was one of the longest bridge sections ever to be moved.

The method minimized bridge closures to avoid negatively affecting the thousands of drivers who use the bridge each day. The shoofly cut roadway closures to less than the 30 days called for in the contract, saved $5 million and took a year off the project schedule.

The project team also found a sustainable solution to clearing a trail on the east side of the river. A herd of 60 goats were brought in to chew brush on the site, reducing the project’s energy use and environmental impact by eliminating the need for equipment to remove the debris.

“Replacing Sellwood Bridge required collaboration and innovative thinking, and the Build America recognizes our team’s capability and success on this project,” Sundt Senior Vice President and Transportation Group Manager Jeff Williamson said. “Multnomah County will be able to enjoy this bridge for many years to come, and we’re proud Slayden/Sundt could build this for the community.”

The new bridge, designed by T.Y. Lin International, is an open-spandrel steel deck arch structure that complements the immediate surroundings. The bridge features two vehicle lanes in each direction on the west end, which narrow to one lane in each direction on the east end. The bridge also has two six-foot-wide bike lanes and two 12-foot-wide sidewalks.

Build America awards honor AGC members who perform the country’s most impressive construction projects ranging across the building, highway and transportation, utility infrastructure and federal and heavy divisions. Winners excel in areas such as state-of-the-art advancement, project management, innovation in construction techniques or materials, safety record, client service, community relations, environmental sensitivity and partnering excellence.

About Sundt

Sundt Construction, Inc. ( is one of the country’s largest and most respected general contractors. The 128-year-old firm specializes in transportation, industrial, building and concrete work and is known for its commitment to quality and innovative approach to construction services. Sundt has offices throughout Arizona, California, Texas and Utah and is 100 percent owned by its approximately 2,200 employees. The company is consistently ranked among the Best Places to Work by business publications in multiple cities and was named the nation’s safest construction company by the Associated General Contractors of America twice in a decade – an honor no other contractor can claim. Sundt’s charitable arm, the Sundt Foundation, recently crossed the $8.3 million mark in donations made to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the country.

About Slayden Construction

Slayden Construction, Inc. is a leader in the construction industry. Founded in 1984, and based in Stayton, Oregon, Slayden is built on strong values, hard work and a commitment to getting the job done right. The company’s success is best expressed through its efforts in providing a safe workplace with respected employees and a committed management team. Its team approach to construction projects has provided steady growth in work volume, successful expansion of key management personnel and an extensive list of satisfied clients for more than 30 years. For more information, visit


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