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Sauvie Island Bridge Demolition Turns Dangerous

Most of the old Sauvie Island bridge was sent up river to be recycled at Schnitzer Steel last week.  But one track hoe operator had quite the ride Friday while removing the last remnants of the decaying bridge.

Mike Pullen with Multnomah County says the track hoe operator was riding on a horizontal span and prepping it for demolition when a "big chunk" collapsed, sending the worker cascading 15-20 feet to the ground.

Mike Pullen: "He actually rode it like a slide down, and fortunately he wasn't injured.  But the impact is we now have a very large piece of the old bridge down on the ground, and the track hoe on top of it.  We'll need to figure out how to break that up into smaller pieces and get it off the road."

Pullen said that span had a "number of cracks" patched over the years, and that could be why it collapsed in such a big piece.

He said Gillihan Road was already closed because of the demolition work, but he said it may stay closed for a couple of days now.  Pullen said the accident didn't damage the new Sauvie Island Bridge.   

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