The Sellwood Bridge is the southernmost of Portland’s bridges and the only major crossing in a heavily populated 10-mile stretch along the Willamette River. The bridge is 65 feet wide at its narrowest point. It replaced a two-lane bridge built in 1925. It is the only steel deck arch bridge in Portland, with three arch spans made of weathering steel connecting the east and west sides of the Willamette River. The $324 million estimated project cost includes the new bridge, an interchange and section of Highway 43, removal of the old bridge, and associated park and environmental improvements and real estate costs. Like the original bridge, the 2016 bridge is named for the Sellwood neighborhood at the east end of the bridge. The town of Sellwood (settled first by Rev. James Sellwood) was annexed to Portland in 1893.
The original bridge was structurally obsolete and closed to buses and large trucks, which led Multnomah County to pursue a bridge replacement. The bridge is the busiest two-lane crossing in Oregon, carrying about 30,000 vehicles a day. The new bridge has two traffic lanes, two 12 foot wide multi-use sidewalks, and two 6.5 foot bike lanes/shoulders. The project included mitigation to halt a historic landslide that damaged the first bridge.
For more information please visit “About the Project” on the website, http://www.sellwoodbridge.org/
LIGHTING DESIGN PLANS
The new bridge includes low-powered LED architectural lights on the three arch spans and piers. This horizontal lighting design will be less costly and easier to maintain than other options that were studied.
“Architectural lighting of the Sellwood Bridge structure should be integral to its design. The cinnamon-colored steel will not reflect much light; the light will not be bright enough to disturb fish or navigation. However, the water will reflect the arched form of the bridge, and will subtly announce the presence of Sellwood from the west side of the river after dark.” – Paddy Tillett, AIA