ABOUT THE AS YET UNNAMED BRIDGE
A new bridge is being constructed as part of the area’s newest Tri-Met light rail route, a project connecting Portland and Milwaukie. In addition to MAX trains the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge will serve pedestrians, cyclists and, in the future, the Portland Streetcar. Bus lines 9, 17 and 19, which currently travel on the Ross Island Bridge, may also change routes to use the new bridge (Decisions about bus line planning in regards to the entire project will occur through a service planning public process). The bridge will not serve private vehicles, but will be able to accommodate emergency vehicles.
Construction of the light rail bridge began July 1, 2011, with in-water work. For environmental reasons related to fish migration, construction in the water can only take place from July 1 through October 31 of any given year. In-water construction includes installation of two temporary work bridges, one extending from the river’s east bank and one from the west bank. These temporary bridges allows crews direct and safe access to the in-water tower sites, and will be used for delivery of equipment and materials to the bridge.
During the four-month in-water work window, crews installed two cofferdams around the sites where the bridge’s two towers will be built. With the cofferdam walls installed, fish are removed from within the cofferdams, and then all of the water is pumped out. This creates two construction “islands” in the river that allow crews, working beyond October, to create foundation shafts, and ultimately the two piers from which the towers will rise, without disturbing the river.
A Willamette Light Brigade representative participated in design discussions. The adopted construction plans do include installing lights to enhance the architectural features of this new bridge.
Live Bridge Cam:
Be sure to visit http://www.allclassical.org/tili-cam/ for the full live bridge viewing experience.