Celebrating the old, welcoming the new

February 22, 2016

The new Sellwood Bridge takes shape. Photo courtesy of ODOT.

The old Sellwood Bridge will close to traffic at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25 and the new bridge will open to traffic the first week of March.

While a lot of construction still remains after the new bridge opens to traffic, two celebrations are planned to mark these major milestones.

Goodbye to the old: Old Sellwood Bridge closes February 25

Old Bridge celebration: Thursday, February 25, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Feb. 25, fans of the old Sellwood Bridge will have one last chance to say goodbye. The old bridge will permanently close to traffic that day at 7 p.m. From 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., residents can walk across the 90-year old bridge one last time to say goodbye.

Bring your flashlights, electric candles, and phone lights for this candlelight event. A bagpiper in a kilt will lead the gathered friends of the old bridge as we bid it farewell.

Participants should assemble on Grand Avenue off of Spokane street (near the bridge's north sidewalk) no earlier than 7 p.m. The procession starts at 7:30 pm. We’ll have time to walk from east to west and back again. The bridge will need to be cleared by 8:30 p.m. so that work to set up the new bridge for traffic can begin.

While the traffic shift to the new bridge is a significant milestone, bridge and interchange work will continue through November 2016.

Hello to the new: New Sellwood Bridge opens to traffic the first week of March

Community celebration: Saturday, Feb. 27, noon to 4 p.m.

After years of construction, the Sellwood Bridge Project has reached a major milestone - and you are invited to a celebration!

The new bridge will open to traffic the first week in March so that contractors can begin to remove the detour (old) bridge. The old bridge will close to all modes of traffic (motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians) starting on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. while the contractor sets up the new bridge for traffic.

The community is invited to a celebration on the new bridge on Saturday, Feb. 27. The new bridge opens for the free, family-friendly event at noon.  An opening ceremony and ribbon cutting will start the celebration around 1 p.m., followed by the “Through the Decades” parade. Attendees should enter the event at S.E. Tacoma St. and S.E. 6th Ave. 

Food carts, retail and non-profit booths will be located on the bridge for the party. There will be entertainment on the main stage and along the bridge, and a few surprises. The first to arrive will receive a Sellwood Bridge lapel pin to commemorate the day.

Due to limited parking, Sellwood neighbors are encouraged to walk or bike to the event. Event parking for motor vehicles will be at Oaks Amusement Park. Bicycle parking will be provided at the east end of the bridge. Dress warm and bring an umbrella. 

The bridge opening celebration is generously sponsored by the four companies that have been most involved with designing, managing, and building the project: CH2M, Inc., David Evans and Associates, Inc., the Slayden-Sundt Joint Venture, and T.Y. Lin International. Special thanks to members of SMILE (the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League) and the Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance for their support for the celebration.