New Bridges Grace Astoria’s Historic Riverfront


July 30 marks the completion of a two year collaboration between ODOT and the city of Astoria to repair several 100-year-old bridges

ASTORIA – Two years and six bridges later, it was time to close out the plans, put away the tools and archive the files. On July 30, ODOT joined representatives from the city of Astoria, elected officials and business leaders for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the Astoria Riverfront Bridges Project. The event was held right next to the 10th Street Bridge – one of the six brand new bridges decorating Astoria’s historic riverfront.

Several years ago, faced with having to close the over 100-year-old bridges because of major structural issues, city of Astoria officials looked to ODOT for help in paying for and replacing the bridges. Some 90% of the project’s $10 million+ in funding was provided by the state agency’s Local Highway Bridge Program.

The ODOT team was also able to help with design and construction. Senior Project Manager Bill Jablonski led the design effort. The Construction office in Astoria took the lead on the contract administration, inspection, compliance with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) requirements and other programs, including inspecting ADA-compliant curb ramps. The construction office also helped resolve several typical issues that occur when building new structures surrounded on all four sides by existing hardscape and infrastructure.

ODOT and the contractor, Legacy Contracting of Stayton, worked to honor the city’s wishes around the appearance – naturally the city wanted to keep the historical look of the waterfront. This was accomplished in part by using colored bridge rail and colored precast concrete slabs.

Oregon State Senator Betsy Johnson and other dignitaries were on hand to celebrate the project’s accomplishments.

“With so much doom and gloom these days with COVID-19, we can celebrate the collaborative spirit on a project that transcends three mayors, three city managers and two ODOT (area) managers,” Sen. Johnson said. “ODOT was remarkably helpful during this whole project.”

The new bridges provide both pedestrian and vehicular access to many businesses and attractions as well as emergency vehicle access to the popular waterfront area.

About Author

Lou Torries is a public information officer with Oregon Department of Transportation.

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