Sellwood Bridge

Welcome to my special coverage of the Sellwood Bridge Project.

Here’s what the Sellwood Bridge might look like

Posted on November 26th, 2007 at 10:19 am.

Sellwood Bridge Tour with Richard M.-7
See below.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Sellwood Bridge Project is slowly but surely reaching some important decision points.

Since bicycle and pedestrian issues will play a major factor in the design of this bridge, we should all be paying attention.


New bridge design is focus of Sellwood Bridge online survey

Posted on October 29th, 2007 at 10:58 am.

Press Release from Multnomah County:

New bridge design is focus of Sellwood Bridge online survey

If you have an opinion about what a new Sellwood Bridge should look like, Multnomah County wants to hear from you. An online survey offered through November 28 at www.sellwoodbridge.org lets the public recommend two preferred designs for a new Sellwood Bridge. Public input will help determine which two replacement bridge types — one moderately priced and one higher priced — are studied during the draft Environmental Impact Statement phase.

The online survey includes photo simulations of six bridge types, along with information about their features, advantages and limitations. Bridge types under consideration include:


Sellwood Bridge update: Bike/ped only bridge will be studied

Posted on October 2nd, 2007 at 2:59 pm.

Multnomah County Commissioner
Maria Rojo de Steffy at
last night’s meeting.
(All photos © Jonathan Maus)

An influential advisory group made up of elected and appointed officials has narrowed the options for the design of the future Sellwood Bridge.

At a meeting last night, the Policy Advisory Group of the Sellwood Bridge Project decided on four alternatives (listed below) to be put forth to the next phase of study.

In addition to those was an interesting idea put forth by City Commissioner Sam Adams and Metro Councilor Robert Liberty. They want to take a closer look at a totally separate bridge for bikes and pedestrians, while rehabbing the existing bridge for cars, busses and streetcar.


Sellwood Bridge advisory group set to narrow choices

Posted on September 28th, 2007 at 10:29 am.

Sellwood Bridge Tour with Richard M.-8
(Photos © Jonathan Maus)

Next week, the Policy Advisory Group for the Sellwood Bridge Project will meet to choose up to four bridge designs to consider for further study.

The four designs will then go through an environmental review and a “preferred alternative” will be chosen by Spring 2008.


County releases third Sellwood Bridge survey

Posted on August 15th, 2007 at 9:55 am.

Sellwood Bridge Tour with Richard M.-7
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Multnomah County has just released their third Sellwood Bridge survey (for background on the project, see this post).

Here’s the word from their Public Affairs office:

“An online survey offered through September 9 (at SellwoodBridge.org) lets the public choose up to two preferred alternatives for replacing or rehabilitating the 81-year-old structure. Survey results will be considered by a community task force and committee of elected officials that will choose up to four alternatives for further study this fall.

…The current online survey will gather public input before the next project milestone, when up to four alternatives will advance for further study in the draft Environmental Impact Statement.”


A closer look at bikes and the Sellwood Bridge Project

Posted on August 15th, 2007 at 9:33 am.

Sellwood Bridge Project Citizen’s Task Force member Richard Marantz on the Sellwood Bridge.
(All photos: Jonathan Maus)


Should Sellwood Bridge be bike/ped only?

Posted on August 2nd, 2007 at 11:35 am.

The narrow sidewalk.
(Photo: Cindie Olson)

Perhaps influenced by recent events in Minnesota, there’s a post in the Portland Bike Forums that proposes a new solution to the ailing Sellwood Bridge.

Forum member (and regular commenter) Attornatus_Oregonensis (a.k.a. A_O) is a Sellwood resident and he thinks the aging and deteriorating bridge should be decommissioned and kept open only for bicycle and pedestrian use.

Here are excerpts from his posting:

“…the most sustainable solution would be to decommission the bridge for motor vehicle traffic and make it a ped-bike bridge…


Press conference will address bridge safety concerns

Posted on August 2nd, 2007 at 11:15 am.

Sellwood Bridge
(File photo)

Everyone is talking about the collapsed bridge in Minnesota. When I heard the news, my first thought was of the aging and deteriorating condition of the Sellwood Bridge. Apparently I wasn’t the only one.

The Multnomah County public affairs office has just announced a news conference at 2:00 pm today in Sellwood Riverfront Park that will address safety concerns. County Chair Ted Wheeler is slated to talk and answer questions at the event.

The official press release says,


Take the Sellwood Bridge survey

Posted on March 20th, 2007 at 1:53 pm.

We all know the failing, old, Sellwood Bridge is a major broken link in our transportation network. Or, as the BTA puts it:

“The Sellwood Bridge has extremely dangerous and inadequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities (a single 4-foot sidewalk on one side only)….the BTA has determined that the Sellwood Bridge is the major barrier to bicycling in the Portland region.”


Update: Sneak peak at potential Sellwood Bridge design

Posted on September 6th, 2006 at 7:51 am.

[Graphic from cover of winning
proposal to renovate the Sellwood Bridge.]

An employee for the civil engineering firm that won the bid to renovate the Sellwood Bridge* is working on the Sellwood Bridge project has forwarded me a graphic from the cover of their winning proposal that shows a generous 14 foot wide path for bikes and pedestrians.

In contrast, the motor vehicle lanes are 12 feet wide.

I have not yet confirmed these plans with anyone from the engineering firm and this is obviously a very preliminary design, but given the current condition of the bike and ped lane, it’s an encouraging and hopeful sign nonetheless.

[*UPDATE: I have been notified by someone closely involved with this project and they have informed me that this graphic is not from a “proposal to renovate” the bridge. I should not have used those words and I apologize for any confusion. Whether the bridge is renovated or rebuilt is still undecided. More updates and developments on the project coming soon.]