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Tour of Sellwood Bridge project reveals progress made

The Sellwood Bridge rebuilding project inched along as workers prepare to shave off three condominium units, continue construction on the detour bridges approaches, and prepare to build work bridges.

That’s what THE BEE learned while taking a tour of the eastside worksite with Multnomah County project spokesman Mike Pullen on November 4.

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - This 'jungle of pilings' will one day support the eastside work bridge, from which construction will progress on the brand new Sellwood Bridge. “The new, enlarged south entrance to Sellwood Harbor condominiums has been completed,” he pointed out, as we walked past the entrance to the gated community. “Their north entrance will stay closed for the duration of the project.”

Circling under the bridge along the Springwater Trail, and around the former historic Mela Building site, Pullen pointed out workers beginning the removal of the interiors of the three northernmost Sellwood Harbor units. “We’re carefully deconstructing three units, on three stories, because the other residents will still live in the remaining six units in that building.”

Walking west of S.E. Spokane Street, the tour continued south, along the former riverfront trail. “It looks as if all of the piles are in place for building the east side work bridge,” Pullen noted. “But, our in-water work time ran out on October 15 for getting in the corresponding pilings on the west side. They’ll continue that work next summer.”

Workers will cap the pilings, and begin building the eastside work bridge over next few weeks. And, work continues constructing the “detour bridge” approaches on both sides of the river.

“We still expect to move the old bridge over into its new position [as the detour bridge] in January,” Pullen affirmed.