Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Update: Sneak peak at potential Sellwood Bridge design

Posted by 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.]

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Mick September 6, 2006 at 9:30 am

    What’s the ten foot wide lane for?

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  • Aaron September 6, 2006 at 12:10 pm

    I’m assuming the ten foot lane is bike/ped traffic in the opposite direction given the curb showing. Why would this be less than the 14′ lane I don’t know (thoughts?).
    For those who are in the planning process, I would suggest a seperation btwn cyclists and pedestrians. On the Hawthorne bridge there have been some issues with keeping cyclists and pedestrians seperated. Since this bridge does not have a bike onramp during it’s span, this is a sensible consideration.

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  • Jonathan Maus September 6, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    I just want to reiterate that we should save our energy for feedback until the time is right. The graphic above is very preliminary.

    I’ve heard there will be a new Sellwood Bridge website launching in the next few days and there will also be a regular progress report from a BTA-appointed member of the Sellwood Bridge Task Force. Please stay tuned…

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  • Mia Birk September 6, 2006 at 1:23 pm

    Hi – I’m involved in bicycle and pedestrian design work for this project. We are working at this stage to examine many possible alternatives, including a new bridge, renovating the old bridge, various alignments, various cross section options, in coordination with all related government agencies, including Multnomah County and the City of Portland. We are also working closely with a citizens’ task force. There will be upcoming public meetings and a web site, giving everyone plenty of time to comment. Yes, please stay tuned.

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  • Ned Taylor September 7, 2006 at 9:51 am

    Back in March I sent in an email and the .pdf application to join the citizens advisory committee on the bridge project and never heard anything further. As a resident of Sellwood and a daily bike commuter, I would love to be a part of this process.

    Thanks Jonathan for your updates, can you post more information (e.g. when the public meetings are and where to find info. online).


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  • Mike Pullen September 7, 2006 at 4:43 pm


    I’m the County employee who received the applications for the Sellwood Bridge Community Task Force. I checked my records and I did not receive your application. I’m sorry if there was some mix-up. Seventy people applied and 20 were selected by the County Board in June. The task force has met twice. Their meetings are open to the public. The project website will be up in the next week, which will be the best way to track the project. We will make sure to post an announcement on this site when the project website is available. Thanks for your interest.

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  • jami September 8, 2006 at 9:04 am

    that looks awesome, mia. thanks to you and your firm for keeping bikes and peds in mind!

    i moved out of sellwood after a month because hauling up to the hawthorne bridge and then backtracking up to ohsu ten or twelve times a week was too exhausting for me, and i was scared of the tiny sidewalk on the sellwood bridge. my boyfriend braved the sidewalk a couple times to get up to lewis and clark, but between the unpleasant crossing and the hills, he had to call it quits. it’d be great to have another good option for sellwoodians who work/learn just across the river.

    the new counts of bikes crossing bridges should come in handy if there’s any controversy about designing with bikes in mind. we seriously need more space. while it’s kind of a nice problem to have, bike congestion will eventually get old even to enviro-enthusiasts like me.

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  • Elljay September 8, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    As a member of the Citizens Task Force, I can honestly say that bike and pedestrian issues are well represented within the group. For our first meeting, at least 4 of the 20 rode their bikes on a 100-degree day! I am not the “official bike representative,” but look forward to hearing/reading comments from this group, as well as the community at large as the project and process unfolds.

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  • Mike Pullen September 8, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    Please note that the website for the Sellwood Bridge Project is now live at:


    Visit this site to learn more about the project, upcoming events, and share your thoughts with the project team and Community Task Force by taking the online survey or submitting a comment.

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