June 17, 2015

Field work will begin on Friday, June 26 for a project that will complete the repainting of Multnomah County’s historic Broadway Bridge.  The project will repaint the steel truss structures above the traffic lanes and handrails on three spans: two at the west end and one at the east end.  The center spans and the substructure of the entire bridge were repainted in 2004 – 2005.

The bridge will be closed to all motor vehicles from 7 p.m. on Friday, June 26 until as late as 6 a.m. on Monday, June 29 while the contractor installs traffic control for construction.  At least one bridge sidewalk will remain open.  TriMet’s 17-Holgate/Broadway bus route will detour to the Steel Bridge during the closure.  When the bridge reopens, two of the four traffic lanes will remain closed during the painting project.

F.D. Thomas of Central Point, Oregon, is the general contractor for the $6.9 million project. Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2016.

The contractor will remove failed paint from the three spans and apply a new three-coat paint system (featuring the same Broadway Red as the rest of the bridge).  After scaffolding is installed, painting will take place within containment structures designed to prevent the release of contaminants.  Some steel repairs may also be required where corrosion has occurred. Most work will take place during the day on weekdays. 

Traffic Impacts

The contractor plans to keep the two center lanes open to traffic throughout the project, with one lane in each direction. With the two outside lanes closed during most of the project, bridge users will experience some delays, especially at peak commute hours.  Travelers may want to consider alternate routes to avoid delays.  Important features of the traffic plan include:

  • The project will shut down Portland Streetcar service across the bridge and to the eastside from June 26 through August 15, 2015 while the contractor paints the area above the center lanes.  This work requires deactivation of the streetcar’s electrical system.
  • After mid-August, one sidewalk will need to close due to repainting of the sidewalk handrails.  The contractor will keep the other sidewalk open to two-way bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
  • The bridge will remain open to trucks and buses.
  • River traffic will not be impacted.


The contractor may work on some nights, usually to set up a new work area. The project has taken the following steps to mitigate construction noise and maintain neighborhood livability during construction:

  • All equipment will comply with US Environmental Protection Agency noise standards, including mufflers. 
  • Reduce truck movements at night.
  • Use silent “smart alarms” instead of standard reverse signal beep alarms on vehicles at night.
  • Use portable noise meters onsite to measure noise levels.
  • The containment structures will help contain construction noise.
  • Maintain a 24-hour Construction Information Hotline (503-988-4884) with information on the work schedule.
  • Maintain a 24-hour telephone response line for noise complaints (503-329-5490).  The contractor will assist the County to address complaints within 24 hours or before the next scheduled night work.

Multnomah County maintains the Broadway Bridge and five other Willamette River bridges.  For more information visit multco.us/bridges/broadwaypaint or email broadwaypaint@multco.us.