Westside Sellwood Bridge interchange to be changed
The ramp at the west end of the Sellwood Bridge will temporarily close at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
When it reopens, motorists traveling west over the bridge will be required to drive north towards Portland before reaching a new turnaround on Southwest Taylors Ferry Road to travel southbound towards Lake Oswego on Highway 43.
The reconfiguring is part of the Sellwood Bridge replacement project which includes the reconstruction of the interchange at Highway 43. Westbound motorists will not be able to turn southbound at the end of the bridge again until later in the project.
The bridge is owned and maintained by Multnomah County, which is in charge of the project. According to county officials, about one quarter of current Sellwood Bridge traffic travels southbound on Highway 43.
The ramp closure is expected to increase travel time by a few minutes between the bridge and Taylors Ferry Road on weekday mornings, the officials say. The timing of the traffic signal at Taylors Ferry may be adjusted after the ramp closure to improve traffic flow. Travelers may also want to consider alternate routes.
Bicyclists and pedestrians traveling between the bridge and River View Cemetery will be able to use a narrow path along the ramp after it is closed to motor vehicles. In early November a temporary traffic signal at the west end of the bridge will be activated, which will allow bicyclists and pedestrians to cross Highway 43 between the bridge and the cemetery. At that time, the northbound slip lane of Highway 43 that passes under the bridge will also close permanently.
Starting in November, all traffic in the interchange will pass through the temporary signal until the new interchange opens in 2015.
County officials say that later this year, the lanes of Highway 43 will shift west against new retaining walls, which will allow the contractor to start building the east half of the interchange.
Drawings of the existing interchange, the new turnaround at Taylors Ferry, and the traffic changes that will happen after Labor Day can be viewed at http://www.sellwoodbridge.org.