Sellwood Bridge Project

Visualizing the cost of local transportation projects

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

More than just about anything else on BikePortland, we write about street projects — and, if our records are any indication, you like to read about them more than just about anything else, too.

But what do they cost, really? Sometimes it's hard to visualize.

So we gave it a shot:

visualizing Portland-area transportation investments
Graphic by BikePortland. The area of each circle corresponds to the cost of each project.


County re-thinks cemetery detour: Bikers will be flagged through work zone

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Multnomah County has revised their detour plans for a construction project that was going to close the popular bicycle route through River View Cemetery near the Sellwood Bridge. After our story on Monday, County spokesman says he heard from many people concerned about the safety of the proposed detours (which included a gauntlet-running uphill on SW Taylors Ferry Rd.). Here's more from Pullen via the official County statement:

"After we announced an upcoming construction closure of a road in Riverview Cemetery last week, we heard from bicyclists concerned about the safety of alternate east/west routes. This week the project team worked with Riverview Cemetery staff to revise the traffic plan so that bicyclists and pedestrians will be able to use the road during construction of the new cemetery entrance from August 12 through September."


County makes improvements to long-term detour on Willamette Greenway

Friday, July 19th, 2013
County detour map. - Download PDF -

Multnomah County is improving a major bike detour between downtown and the Sellwood Bridge, and wants to thank BikePortland readers for their help making it better.


Sellwood Bridge project detour routes riders onto SW Macadam sidewalk

Monday, July 8th, 2013
This new culvert will improve wildlife passage;
but it comes with a detour off the Westside Trail.
(Image: Multnomah County)

Multnomah County has announced a major detour that will impact people who ride bicycles between downtown Portland and the Sellwood Bridge on the west side of the Willamette River.

As part of the Sellwood Bridge project a County contractor is replacing the culvert that crosses Stephens Creek under the trolley tracks between SW Miles Street/SW Taylors Ferry Road. Crews have put a detour in place (see graphic below) that will impact users of the Westside Trail until at least early 2014.

Sellwood Bridge to close for the 'Big Move'

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Sellwood Bridge Tour with Richard M.-3
Sellwood Bridge
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

If riding across the Sellwood Bridge is part of your daily routine, you need to make other plans. The 1,100 foot long bridge is set to close from this Thursday January 17th - 24th while construction crews move it — yes, move it — to the north to make room for the new bridge. The old bridge will become the detour around ongoing construction.

Instead of building a new bridge to use until the new one is done in summer 2015, Multnomah County decided on the "Big Move" because it will save time (about one year) and money ($5-10 million), and it will have fewer environmental impacts. (more...)

County meeting to discuss bike access on SW Miles Place

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
SW Miles Place-1
A sign that reads 'Bikers! Please Slow Down!' greets
people at the entrance to SW Miles Place.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tomorrow night, Multnomah County will hold a public meeting to discuss the future SW Miles Place Regional Trail. As part of the Sellwood Bridge Project, the County has decided to connect the path on the west end of the bridge to the existing Willamette Greenway Trail from the Macadam Bay houseboat community just north of the bridge, to Willamette Park.

Currently, SW Miles Place is a quaint, quiet, potholed and under-developed street that consists of a few dozen single-family homes nestled between Highway 43 and the Willamette River. Back in June, residents successfully stopped the County from routing auto traffic from the houseboat community down the street. Now the big question is: How should the County re-design the road for the increased bicycle traffic expected once the bridge opens? (more...)

Follow-up: More photos of new Sellwood Bridge bike path

Monday, October 1st, 2012
Detail of new path. See
full image below.
(Photos: Mult. County)

Last week we shared the news that Multnomah County has built a new bike path on the northwest side of the Sellwood Bridge. The new path will be in place for at least another year, while construction crews continue to work on replacing the old bridge.

Since I haven't been out there myself to take a closer look, County spokesman Mike Pullen snapped a few photos for us. If you use that part of the bridge on your regular route, the photos below should give you a good idea of what to expect. There have also been some reviews of the new path and other observations shared in the comments of our story last week.

Here's the entrance to the new path (it looks to be only about 4 1/2 to 5 feet wide)... (more...)

New path for bikes on west end of Sellwood Bridge

Friday, September 28th, 2012
Multnomah County has built a new path for bike traffic.
(Photos sent in by a reader)

A new bike path on the western end of the Sellwood Bridge was just completed yesterday. Multnomah County spokesman Mike Pullen says it will be in place for about a year and that it's one of many temporary alignments we can expect as the bridge is rebuilt over the next three years.

Heading west over the bridge sidewalk, you will now see a transition into a curb-protected path, separated from Highway 43 with plastic "candlestick" bollards. This path leads northbound bike traffic all the way down a corkscrew ramp. About two-thirds of the way down the ramp (once it is going south), you can choose to continue to Lake Oswego or Riverview Cemetery, or — if you want to go north toward Portland — you must make a sharp, hairpin turn (marked with an arrow in the image below). (more...)

Sellwood Bridge plans finalized; County will use green concrete on bike lanes

Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Adopted plans.

Last week, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners adopted final plans for the new Sellwood Bridge. After a bumpy final week of the six-year process to arrive at a design, people who care about quality bicycle access breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday when the Board voted to shelve their hastily planned, cost-cutting alternative design.

On July 13th, the County raised lots of eyebrows when they shared several cost-cutting measures that would have dramatically changed bicycle access. On Monday of last week, at the meeting of the Project Stakeholder's Committee (PSC), Portland Mayor Sam Adams eviscerated the County's plans. Adams poked holes in the County's proposed money saving measures and raised significant concerns about the hasty timeline and the impact the design would have on bicycling and walking. (more...)

Adams' concerns force County to back away from Sellwood Bridge redesign proposal

Monday, July 16th, 2012
Adams did not like what the County had to offer.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Facing fierce opposition from the public — and stern questioning from Portland Mayor Sam Adams — Multnomah County decided to not move forward on their cost-cutting proposal for the Sellwood Bridge project. The proposal would have had significant impacts to bicycling on the bridge and it has only been public for about one week (versus six years of process to reach consensus on the existing design).

Adams was clearly displeased with many aspects of the proposal throughout a meeting of the Project Stakeholder Committee which took place at Multnomah County headquarters today. At the meeting, the County was asking Adams and the PSC (which includes state legislators and reps from TriMet, ODOT, the Federal Highway Administration, and more) to agree to the plan ahead of a vote by the County Commission scheduled for this Thursday.

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