Take a photo tour of new bike access on nearly completed Sellwood Bridge

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A new bridge on the greenway path on the west side of the main bridge connects walkers and rollers headed eastbound into Sellwood.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been almost a decade since our very first post about replacing the old Sellwood Bridge. Now, after years of debates over funding sources and designs, the new bridge is almost 100 percent complete.

While it re-opened to traffic back in February, many of the bikeway elements were unfinished. In recent weeks Multnomah County has made significant progress on the bike lanes, sidepaths, crossings on the west side, and on the greenway path connections. I rolled over a few days ago for a closer look at how it was all shaping up.

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Sellwood Bridge will close through Tuesday, open with changes

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The new bridge during the opening celebration in February.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Multnomah County continues to inch closer to completion of the Sellwood Bridge project; but some of the final changes mean yet another temporary closure.

Starting this Friday the 19th at 7:00 pm through Tuesday morning the 23rd (no later than 6:00 am), the bridge will be closed to all users. When it reopens you’ll notice new lane striping and new traffic signals at each end of the bridge.

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New path from Sellwood Bridge to Willamette Park opens Tuesday

Patch connection (white) just north of the bridge.(Graphics: Multnomah County)
Patch connection (white) just north of the bridge.
(Graphics: Multnomah County)

Multnomah County announced today that the new multi-use path being built as part of the Sellwood Bridge project would open on Tuesday, June 14th.

The new path on the west side of the bridge will be 14-feet wide and head north to connect with SW Miles Place and Willamette Park. This will come as very welcome news to everyone who has experienced the detour that put bicycle riders on a narrow sidewalk of SW Macadam.

The new path currently connects only to the north side of the Sellwood Bridge. A connection to the southern path of the bridge remains closed until the County finishes a new bridge that will take riders and walkers up to the deck.

Here’s more from the County:

Signs will direct trail users to access the trail from SW Miles Place. At first, some southbound trail users may access the trail from SW Macadam via the Macadam Bay driveway, because the current path is on the SW Macadam sidewalk, which will now end at the driveway. Eventually, trail users will get used to the new alignment from Willamette Park to the bridge.

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Sellwood Bridge bikeway design still in flux

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County bridge engineers and planners floated this proposal to a citizen committee last month and a final decision has yet to be made.

The final design of the bike lanes on the new Sellwood Bridge might not be what you expected. And that’s good or bad news depending on your perspective.

It turns out the bike lanes could be a different color and size than initially planned.

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New Sellwood Bridge opens with a “Dang!”

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Cheers for the new Sellwood Bridge turned to jeers less than 12 hours after it officially opened.

Multnomah County says at about 6:00 am this morning a woman drove a pickup truck onto the biking and walking path on the north side of the bridge. Then when the path narrowed and the truck got sandwiched between two barriers, the woman got out and left the vehicle.

County spokesman Mike Pullen said the woman likely approached the east end of the bridge from the parking lot of the Riverside Corral, a bar located on the northwest corner of Tacoma and 6th. “She probably drove over a curb,” he said. Pullen added that, “There were signs in the vehicle that indicated drug use.” The County filed a police report.

Portland Police Public Information Officer Pete Simpson told us they’ve contacted the woman. “An officer spoke with driver on the phone who said she got on the wrong path and got it stuck overnight,” he said. “No arrest, no cite, no damage.”

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The old Sellwood Bridge closes for good tonight: Will you miss it?

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
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The view of the Sellwood Bridge sidewalk from inside a car.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tonight at 7:00 pm the old Sellwood Bridge will close for good. Then for an hour between 7:30 and 8:30 pm Multnomah County will give you one last chance to say goodbye. The question is: Will you shed tears of joy or sorrow?

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New path for bikes on west end of Sellwood Bridge

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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).

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