Who are we and what do we do?
The Multnomah County Bridge Section manages and maintains six Willamette River Bridges and over 20 smaller bridges elsewhere in the County. Our primary goals are to provide safe transportation facilities for the public, to protect the public investment by preserving our historic bridges, and to help plan for the transportation needs of the 500,000 new residents expected in the Portland area by the year 2020. Our facilities serve Willamette River users, pedestrians, cyclists, automobile commuters, buses, and commercial users. Our employees include: the operators who raise and lower the bridges; the maintenance workers who inspect, respond to emergencies, perform preventative maintenance, and perform maintenance repairs; and engineers who are responsible for design and construction of major repairs, renovations, and upgrades.
Who's responsible for that bridge?
The Oregon Department of Transportation maintains the Ross Island, Marquam, Fremont and St. John's bridges.
The Union Pacific Railroad maintains the Steel Bridge.
Ongoing County projects
Sellwood Bridge Project
The project to replace the 85-year-old Sellwood Bridge is in the final design stage. Construction will begin in December 2011. After eight decades of use, the bridge has reached the end of its service life. Visit the project website to learn more and tell us what you think, or watch former County Chair Ted Wheeler tour the bridge in the Sellwood Bridge video.
Recently Completed: Morrison Bridge Lift Span Deck Replacement
A project that replaced the open steel grating on the lift span deck with a solid surface was completed in March 2012.
Willamette Light Brigade
The colorful architectural lights on the Morrison Bridge are now available for your special lighting display. To learn more about the program and download an application and visit the Willamette Light Brigade, a local non-profit organization that administers the program.
Public Art Project Explores Hidden Lives of Bridges
The Regional Arts & Culture Council oversaw a public art project in 2011called "The Hidden Lives of Bridges." Artists Ed Purver and Tim DuRoche worked with Multnomah County's Bridge Section to reveal the inner workings of the County's Willamette River bridges. A large scale video projection event took place near the Hawthorne and Morrison bridges in September 2011. Learn more at the project website and news release. See a conceptual visualization of the project here.