New Sellwood Bridge on Track for 2016 Completion

 |  Civil & Transportation
Sellwood Bridge image 1-resized
This aerial view of the project shows the east and west work bridges, the temporary structures that will facilitate construction of the main structure across the Willamette River.

Now that the old Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Ore., has been successfully relocated (see details), Sundt and joint venture partner Slayden Construction are hard at work constructing the new bridge, which is scheduled to be open in mid-2016. The team is close to completing the construction of the east and west work bridges – temporary structures that will facilitate bridge construction across the Willamette River.

Crews are also performing and preparing for the work that can only occur during the allowed “in water work window.” Those activities include: removing the existing concrete piers, driving pile at the bent locations/installing perched box caissons and constructing drilled shafts. (The drilled shafts at these locations are 10 feet in diameter and approximately 160 feet long.) 

Sellwood Bridge image 2-resized
Crews are currently removing the existing concrete bridge piers in the Willamette River. The section shown in the photo weighs over 100,000 pounds.

At the same time, construction is progressing on another critical path activity: the retaining walls located on the west side of the project. The walls must be complete before traffic can be moved to allow the construction of the northeast and southeast approach ramps.

Reconstruction of the 87-year-old Sellwood Bridge is being performed using an innovative “shoofly” approach that is expected to save approximately $5 to $10 million in construction costs and cut about a year off the schedule.