Project Information

A view of structural steel members on the underside of a bridge. Their paint is peeling in spots, and rust and corrosion can be seen.
Existing paint on the Morrison Bridge is peeling and must be replaced to avoid corrosion.

  • Location: Morrison Bridge river spans
  • Schedule: Construction scheduled early November 2021 - summer 2023
  • Estimated Total Cost: $20 million
  • Funding Source: 90% federal, 10% county

Project Description

The steel on five river spans of the Morrison Bridge will be repainted.  The spans include the center movable span, two flanking truss spans, and two girder spans above the river to the east. The easternmost girder span is partially over land, including the Eastbank Esplanade. The existing paint is peeling and must be replaced to avoid corrosion of the structural steel members. After the paint is removed, any corroded steel will be replaced before the span is repainted.

The old paint is lead-based, so each section of the bridge being painted will be fully encased to prevent the paint removal process from harming the environment.  When the project is complete the newly painted spans will be lead-free. The bridge will be repainted silver.

As part of this project, we will perform structural analysis on the bridge’s steel members. We will identify any damage  and make needed repairs. 

Additional work will include replacement of the sidewalk panels on the lift span, and cleaning of the canopies, handrails and exterior of the operator towers.

Traffic Impacts

The steel areas that will be repainted are mostly below the deck. The two outside traffic lanes on the bridge will be closed during the project so the contractor can build scaffolding, deliver materials, set up equipment and access the work site.  The narrow north sidewalk of the bridge will be closed.  The wider shared use path on the south side of the bridge will remain open, except for about one month in spring 2022.  Bridge ramps will remain open except for about one month in spring 2022 when the ramp from SW Naito Parkway and the offramp to SE Water Ave. will be closed.

During construction, the vehicle weight limit on the bridge will be reduced from 26 tons eastbound and 20 tons westbound to 20 tons in all directions.  TriMet buses that cross the bridge will not be impacted by this change.

Construction Noise

Most work will take place within closed containment structures on the bridge during the day on weekdays. To reduce traffic impacts on the bridge, some night work is planned. Night work will include traffic control changes and moving work platforms. Painting and sandblasting, the noisiest activities, will not take place at night. The project is requesting permission from the City of Portland to work at night on eight weekends and six weeknights during the two-year project. Nighttime construction requires lower noise levels than for daytime work and will require a variance from the City of Portland’s Noise Control Office.

Multnomah County will limit construction noise and maintain neighborhood livability through these methods:

  • All equipment will comply with US Environmental Protection Agency noise standards, including mufflers.
  • Reduce truck movements at night.
  • Use self-adjusting alarms or spotters instead of standard reverse signal beep alarms on vehicles at night.
  • Use portable noise meters onsite to measure noise levels.
  • Provide construction updates with information about night work and post online and email to those who sign up (use webform below to sign up).
  • Maintain a 24-hour telephone response line for noise complaints (503-988-4884).
  • The contractor will assist the County to address complaints within 24 hours or before the next scheduled night work.

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