A year in the making, the 1,720-ft-long cable-stayed bridge spanning the Willamette River in Portland has made landfall.
In what will be the country’s longest non-car commuter bridge, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. recently tied the bridge into the pier on land on the west side, a “back span closure,” according to Ralph Salamie, project manager.
The next milestone for the two-tower bridge that serves as a cornerstone piece of a new $1.49 billion light rail connection between downtown Portland and nearby Milwaukie comes when crews connect to land on the east side sometime in April. The bridge will also get an official name next month.
The $134 million bridge should meet in the middle in early June, Salamie says, the most important concrete pour of them all.
Along with light rail, expect three bus lines to use the bridge and as many pedestrian and bicycle commuters as possible on the two 14-ft-wide paths. Just don’t plan on seeing any cars.
The aesthetically focused bridge will also use 3.5 miles of cable and two in-water towers each 180 ft tall on the all-concrete cast-in-place bridge deck. Those stark white cables will receive lighting treatments from bridge owner TriMet when bridge construction wraps up, allowing the bridge to change colors.
The 12th bridge over the Willamette River in Portland is expected to start carrying the new Orange Line in September 2015.
Tim Newcomb is Engineering News-Record’s Pacific Northwest contributor. He also writes for Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and more. You can follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb or visit his website here.