Three downtown Portland bridges will undergo major construction this year. Multnomah County will be repairing aging infrastructure on the Broadway, Burnside and Morrison Bridges, which will require partial and occasional full closures of the structures.
“All three projects are basically fixing things that are worn out and broken, so the bridge won’t be materially different when we’re done, but we’ll get more life out of each of the three bridges,” Multnomah County spokesman Mike Pullen said.
The Broadway Bridge will be under construction from early May to October. The two outside traffic lanes on the bridge will be closed during construction, but the streetcar and bus service will continue uninterrupted.
Crews will be repairing the large rolling wheels that allow the bridge to lift. The 8-foot-tall steel wheels and their tracks have been in use since the bridge opened in 1913.
Pullen said the bridge will be closed for two weekends in late July and late September as the new wheels are installed. Streetcar and bus service will continue on the bridge during construction.
Work on the Morrison Bridge began this month but so far has not had an effect on traffic. From April 3 through October, four of the six lanes on the bridge will be closed to traffic while crews replace the bridge’s lift span deck — the section that opens to let ships pass.
During construction, westbound access to the bridge from the east side of Portland will be closed. Westbound access will be available from Interstate 5 south and Interstate 84.
Traveling east, drivers will still be able to exit the Morrison Bridge to I-5 N, I-84 and SE Belmont Street.
The shared-use path on the south side of the bridge will be closed from May 16-June 15 and from Aug. 15-Sept. 15. The sidewalk on the north side of the bridge will be open during this time. The bridge will close to all vehicle traffic from June 15-30 and Sept. 15-30 after new concrete is poured.
The Burnside Bridge construction will be the longest of the three projects, beginning in April and ending in November 2019.
Pullen said all lanes of the Burnside Bridge will remain open until work on the other two bridges is complete this fall.
In the meantime, work underneath the Burnside Bridge will result in periodic closures of I-5 and I-84 in one direction under the east side of the bridge.
The freeways will be closed in the southbound direction on the weekends of April 14-17 and April 21-24. The northbound direction will be closed under the bridge May 5-8 and May 12-15.
Starting in November, the county is planning to close two out of five lanes on the Burnside Bridge while crews work on the bridge deck.
“When these bridges were built 100 years ago people didn’t expect that they’d still be in use all these years later," Pullen said. "In order to keep using them, we’ve got to keep repairing them and we appreciate the public’s patience as we close lanes and have to share sidewalks.”