Multnomah County has completed work to replace portions of the sidewalk on the NW Broadway ramp to the bridge and install new lights across the bridge to improve efficiency and reduce maintenance and energy costs.
Work began on December 6, 2000 and continued through May 18, 2001. Traffic lanes were reduced from four to three, with two eastbound lanes open at all times. Bicycle lanes remained open in both directions. One sidewalk was left open while the other closed for repairs. Signs directed pedestrians where to safely cross to the other side. The project did not impact river traffic.
Concrete barriers were erected to separate the work zone from traffic to provide a safe work area. Plastic traffic cones and candles were used to close one westbound lane and separate lanes of traffic during the project.
Demolition of the existing sidewalks from the Lovejoy Ramp to the south is complete. This work was required to replace crumbling concrete which allowed water to seep through and corrode the ramp's steel structure.
Falsework was constructed to provide a safe platform for additional work activities. This falsework eventually became the formwork for the new concrete sidewalks.
Workers removed the old lead paint and rust from the steel members to provide a clean surface for new paint, studs and concrete. The contractor erected a plastic containment structure around the handrail and support steel to protect the work site from rain and contain any debris from the work.
Nelson studs were welded to the cleaned support beam, then painted to prevent corrosion prior to placement of the new sidewalk reinforcing bars and concrete. Many of the original rivets were removed due to corrosion and replaced with high-strength bolts.
Workers then placed new concrete over the falsework and renovated steel and studs. The entire west sidewalk was placed in one day. Afterwards, the concrete was protected from freezing with several layers of plastic and thermal blankets. The plastic retains enough moisture to allow the concrete to cure. These blankets were left in place for a minimum of seven days.
On the NW Broadway ramp, cobra head streetlights have been relocated from the curb edge of the sidewalk to outside the sidewalk railing, creating more space for bicyclists and pedestrians. To accommodate the additional weight and added stresses of the new lights, four cantilever supports were rebuilt on each side of the roadway.
On the bridge, decorative historic lights were attached to the structure every 50 feet to illuminate sidewalks, dramatically improving visibility. Decorative historic lights will also be installed on poles at each end of the bridge. Roadway lights will also be updated.
Portions of the bridge's electrical wiring were replaced to improve lighting efficiency and reduce electrical hazards to maintenance personnel.
Bicycle Ramp Improvement
On the bridge's east side, a bicycle ramp in the sidewalk was demolished and reconstructed to provide a smoother alignment for cyclists to avoid the placement of the new decorative lights. The blue bikeway markings will then realigned with the new ramp.
This project is the first in a series of projects for the Broadway Bridge which are designed to replace anchor struts, make mechanical repairs, replace steel and concrete deck components, replace concrete sidewalks, resurface the East Approach span and paint the bridge's understructure.