Safety upgrades must be made to a hundred-year-old bridge, so ODOT closes the northbound bridge between Oregon and Washington between Sept. 12-20
PORTLAND – This September, the northbound span of the Interstate Bridge will close for several days so crews can replace a cracked trunnion and other parts that help raise and lower the 103-year-old bridge. Because this work takes place overhead, the northbound bridge must close to keep drivers safe and to provide access for construction crews and heavy equipment.
ODOT Public Information Officer Don Hamilton shows off the specially made “sheaves”(or pulley wheels) that will be placed on the bridge. These upgrades will force the closure of the northbound span of the bridge from Sept. 12-20, followed by a single lane closure on the southbound span from Sept. 21-27.
The repairs to the bridge include several custom-made pieces that only a few North American companies make. Oregon’s material is coming from Alabama. One reason the bridge closure is occurring in September is because we have to have low river levels; this allows most vessels to travel under the Interstate Bridge without a bridge lift – essential for marine traffic. The Columbia River is an international shipping channel and, before any section of the river under the bridge is closed, we must coordinate with the U.S. Coast Guard, shipping companies and other river users.