January 15, 2015

The north westbound lane of the Morrison Bridge was closed at noon today for an indefinite period to allow crews to repair sections of the lift span deck that have deteriorated.  The entire bridge and its ramps will be closed to motor vehicles Saturday, January 17 from 7 a.m. to as late as 7 p.m. during inspection and maintenance work on the entire lift span deck.  Traffic control will be set up during the bridge closure for the repair work on the north lane.  When the bridge reopens to traffic, there will be two eastbound and three westbound lanes open.

The lane and bridge closures are related to problems with lift span deck panels made of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) that were installed in 2011 – 2012.  The FRP panels showed signs of deterioration soon after being installed in a project that replaced the original open steel grating deck.  Multnomah County is involved in litigation with firms that fabricated and installed the FRP deck.

An inspection of the FRP deck in the north lane this week identified several areas that showed significant deterioration, including cracks, since the last inspection in late November.  The lane closure will allow repairs that will add support to the panels.  Other areas of the closed lane will be investigated during the closure, which could lead to additional repairs.  The repairs are only a temporary fix.  Multnomah County plans to replace the entire FRP deck due to its deterioration.

The north lane will be closed west of the freeway onramp to the bridge and east of the offramp to SW Naito Parkway.  All bridge ramps will remain open except during the weekend closure.  

On Saturday bridge sidewalks will remain open but ramps from the bridge to I-5 and I-84 will be closed.  While the I-5 southbound City Center/Morrison Bridge off-ramp (exit 300) will be closed, the I-5 southbound ramp to Highway 99E/U.S. 26 will remain open. Motorists can access I-5 north at N.E. Broadway and N. Williams Avenue and enter I-84 eastbound at N.E. Grand Avenue and N.E. Everett Street.  Onramps to the bridge will be closed at S.E. Grand Avenue and S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  During the closure, TriMet’s 15-Belmont line will use the Burnside Bridge in both directions. 

To access downtown Portland from the freeways during the closure, I-5 southbound drivers can exit at the Rose Quarter/Broadway Bridge and I-84 westbound drivers can exit at Rose Quarter/Weidler exits.

Weekend bridge closures are scheduled February 1, March 1 and April 4 for inspection and maintenance of the lift span deck. These monthly closures are expected to continue until the deck is replaced.

Multnomah County maintains the Morrison Bridge, five other Willamette River bridges and 300 miles of roads. For more information, visit www.multco.us/bridges.