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Transit bridge gets a new link

Cement section replaces temporary span on west end


by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Crews with Kiewit Infrastructure West poured a permanent connection Thursday, March 6, to the west end of the new Portland-to-Milwaukie light-rail bridge. A new connection for the east side of the bridge will be poured in the next few weeks.A new transit bridge over the Willamette River reached another milestone Wednesday, March 5, when workers poured concrete to seal the connection to the landing in South Waterfront.

“We have gone from a temporary connection to a permanent connection on the west end of the bridge,” said Ralph Salamie, project manager for Kiewit Infrastructure West, the general contractor.

The so-called closure pour occurred under plastic tarps to keep intermittent rain off the fresh concrete. Two cables were threaded lengthwise from the landing through the deck to further secure the connection on Thursday, March 6.

A closure pour in the east end of the bridge is scheduled for later this months. The center will be connected this summer, a few months after the name for the bridge is scheduled to be formally announced in April.

The 1,720-foot-long bridge deck is being constructed in 78 segments. Around 200 tons of concrete are being poured into each 16-by-75-foot segment that will make up the future roadway.

The bridge is the first built over the Willamette River in Portland in more than 40 years. It will the first cable-stayed bridge in the region and will include ambient lighting on the cables at night. The alignment is between Southwest Porter Street on the west side and Southeast Sherman Street on the east side. It will carry transit, bicyclists and pedestrians but no private vehicles. Emergency vehicles will be able to access the bridge if necessary.

The bridge is part of the approximately $1.49 billion Portland-to-Milwaukie light-rail line that is scheduled to open on Sept. 12, 2015. The 7.3-mile project is the region’s sixth MAX construction line to be built. It will run from the terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at Portland State University in downtown Portland to South Waterfront, inner Southeast Portland, Milwaukie and North Clackamas County.

The project is approximately 70 percent complete. Partners include the Federal Transit Administration, the state, Clackamas County, Metro, the city of Milwaukie, Multnomah County, the city of Oregon City, Oregon’s Department of Transportation, the city of Portland, the Portland Development Commission and TriMet.