The Morrison Bridge will be closed to all traffic for as long as two weeks starting Monday, October 9 at 12:01 a.m. During the closure a contractor will pour concrete for the west leaf of the lift span deck and balance the counterweight to support the heavier new deck. A two-inch concrete layer will be poured into the top of the new steel grate deck, to provide better traction. The bridge closure is needed because vibrations from traffic can damage new concrete while it cures, or hardens.
The closure will impact motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. The bridge will reopen earlier than Sunday, October 22 if the work is completed ahead of schedule. The project is nearly complete. During the week of October 23 there will be lane closures at off-peak hours while the contractor removes construction equipment. All six traffic lanes will be open by October 31.
The two-week bridge closure will impact traffic on nearby roads and bridges. Details of the traffic plan include:
Ramps between the Morrison Bridge and Interstate 5 and Interstate 84 will be closed, except for the ramp from the Morrison Bridge westbound to I-5 north.
The closure will increase congestion on the Hawthorne and Burnside bridges during commute hours. Commuting drivers may want to avoid the drawbridges by:
Using the Marquam and Fremont bridges westbound in the morning to access downtown
Exiting downtown via Interstate 405 to the Marquam and Fremont bridges to access I-5 and I-84 in the afternoon
Due to construction that has closed two lanes on the Broadway Bridge, the bridge is not recommended as an alternate route.
Motorists can also access I-84 eastbound at NE Grand Avenue and NE Everett Street or NE Irving and NE 16th Ave.
Access to I-5 north on the eastside is from the ramp at NE Broadway and N Williams Ave.
I-5 south traffic can access the onramp to Highway 99E/U.S. 26.
Commuters may want to consider using the MAX Light Rail System to get into and out of downtown during the closure. Go to trimet.org to plan your trip or call TriMet’s Rider Support team at 503-238-RIDE (7433), between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. seven days a week, for trip planning help. TriMet bus and Portland Streetcar riders should expect traffic congestion in the central east side and plan extra time for their trips.
During the closure Hamilton Construction will complete the concrete pour, remove scaffolding, and demobilize from the west pit on the lift span. The contractor will also balance the west leaf, since the new deck is much heavier than the old deck made of fiber reinforced polymer. A number of components are being upgraded to accommodate the heavier deck.
Depending on the weather this month, the contractor may need to close the Morrison Bridge for one weekend in spring 2018 to apply the final overlay coat to the lift span deck. The overlay resembles asphalt and provides a smooth ride with good traction.
Multnomah County maintains the Morrison Bridge and five other Willamette River bridges. The county has coordinated planning for the Morrison Bridge closure with the Portland Bureau of Transportation through the Get Portland Moving effort to limit the effects of construction projects in the right-of-way on the general public. The agencies are coordinating construction of the Multnomah County Central Courthouse and PBOT’s paving project on SW Main St. to minimize traffic impacts.