The Sellwood Bridge is one of the largest projects in the country to pursue Greenroads certification. Its sustainable features include multi-modal design, waste reduction during construction, and re-using the existing span as a detour bridge to reduce environmental impacts. This Multnomah County project is on track to achieve one of the four Greenroads levels, but final assessment will not take place until later in the project. The completion of the Sellwood Bridge is in direct support of the 2015 Climate Action Plan, goal 4DD.
Built to modern seismic standards
The new Sellwood Bridge is designed to remain standing through an earthquake that is equal to the largest felt here in the last 1,000 years.
Friendly to bicycles, pedestrians, and transit users
The bridge includes two 12’ shared-use sidewalks, two six and a half foot bike lanes/shoulders, and two 12’ traffic lanes to accommodate TriMet buses or a future streetcar line.
Constructed with recycled materials
The bridge includes recycled steel and arches made of weathering steel that will never need to be painted.
Prioritizing waste reduction
Active reuse and recycling practices for demolished features have resulted in significantly less material sent to the landfill. Over 91% of overall waste materials have been recycled so far, including materials from removed buildings. Removed cedar trees were donated to local tribes to be made into traditional garments and ceremonial items.
- Construction waste to date: 3174 tons
- Recycled material to date: 2906 tons
- Trash to date: 268 tons
Reducing the footprint
The final design footprint was reduced significantly from early concepts, reducing the overall cost, materials required, and environmental disturbances, like stormwater runoff and aquatic and riparian impacts.
In January 2013 the existing Sellwood Bridge truss span was moved, or translated, to the north some 60 feet onto temporary supports. Moving the bridge allowed the contractor to construct the new bridge in a single phase, saving up to one year of construction time and as much as $10 million. Re-using the existing structure for the detour bridge also had many environmental and economic benefits, including: reducing waste, aquatic impacts, construction traffic and vehicle emissions, and construction material vehicle miles.
Please visit the Sellwood Bridge website for more information.