OR 43: Oregon City/West Linn Arch Bridge
|Archived project updates|
November 2012 Update
The historic replica lights have been temporarily removed from the bridge. They are not as weather resistant as ODOT wanted them to be in order to last for the next 90 years. So they have been sent back to the manufacturer for some additional work. We expect to have these lights reinstalled and back on in about 4-6 weeks.
Although, the bridge is open to traffic, the contractor will continue working on the bridge until early December when the project is scheduled to complete. Remaining work includes some additional painting, installation of drain covers inside the arch chamber, utility work and project clean up. Most of it will occur under the bridge deck and along 99E which may require intermittent day time lane closures.
Recap: Arch Bridge Opens to Traffic
On Monday, October 15, the Oregon City/West Linn Bridge reopened to traffic. After being closed for 21 months, the project brought the bridge back to its original condition strength and beauty.
You will see a new roadway, sidewalks, railings, pylons and replica historic lighting, as well as the new Shotcrete coating and a coat of light grey paint.
What you are not able to see are all the repairs made to the steel that was under the original Gunite coating. These repairs gave the bridge its strength and extended its life span so it can serve the community for years to come.
Although, the bridge is open to traffic, the contractor, Wildish, will continue working on the bridge until December 2012 when the project is complete. Remaining work will occur under the bridge deck and may require intermittent lane closures. These closures will usually take place at night but an occasional daytime lane closure may occur.
Ribbon Cutting and Arch Bridge Opening Ceremony
The Oct. 14 bridge opening event included brief speeches by ODOT Director Matt Garrett, the Mayors of Oregon City and West Linn, representatives from the Federal Highway Administration and Wildish Standard Paving, the construction firm. Two time capsules, containing items of from the Cities of Oregon City and West Linn, were dedicated. Music was provided by the Willamette Falls Symphony Brass Ensemble.
Check out the project website www.archrehab.com to see a few photos including an amazing photo of fireworks over the bridge. It was taken by ODOT photographer, Gary Weber. The Willamette Falls Festival and its sponsors provided fireworks.
A parade of historic cars from 1915 to 1932 were the first vehicles across the restored bridge carrying the dignitaries.
Bridge Shuttle Service ended October 14
With the opening of the Oregon City/West Linn Arch Bridge in the early morning hours of October 15, the need for the Bridge Shuttle ended. The Shuttle carried 68, 129 riders including 12,291 bicyclists in its 21 months of operation.
First Student of West Linn and its drivers did an excellent job and ODOT extends a sincere thank you to First Student for a job well done.
October 2012 Update
Willamette Falls Festival and Bridge Reopening Schedule
Construction Update October 1
Over the next two weeks, the contractor, Wildish, will:
- Remove hanging scaffold/ work platform below the bridge
- Paint the above deck arch ribs and hangers
- Project clean up
- Energize new lighting on the bridge
- 99E traffic signals reinstalled and install pedestrian signals
- Do finish work on the concrete rail finishing at the West Linn end
- Open Bridge, October 15th, 5am
Arch Bridge Opens to Traffic
On Monday, October 15, the Oregon City/West Linn Bridge will reopen to traffic by 5 a.m. After being closed for 22 months, the project is bringing the bridge back to its original condition strength and beauty.
You will see a new roadway, sidewalks, railings, pylons and replica historic lighting, as well as the new Shotcrete coating and a coat of light grey paint. What you are not able to see are all the repairs made to the steel that was under the original Gunite coating. These repairs give the bridge its strength and extends its life span so it can serve the community for years to come.
ODOT made a commitment to the community to re-open the bridge after 22 months and we are meeting that promise. Although, the bridge is open to traffic, the contractor will continue working on the bridge and has until March 31, 2013 to complete all the work.
Remaining work will occur under the bridge deck and require intermittent lane closures to complete the work. These closures will usually take place at night but an occasional daytime lane closure may occur.
Ribbon Cutting and Arch Bridge Opening Ceremony
Join us on Sunday, October 14 to celebrate the reopening of the Oregon City/West Linn Bridge. This event is part of the weekend long celebration-- The Willamette Falls Festival.
The bridge opening event starts at 2:00 pm at the Oregon City end of the bridge. It will include brief speeches by ODOT Director Matt Garrett, the Mayors of Oregon City and West Linn, representatives from the Federal Highway Administration and Wildish Standard Paving, the construction firm. Join us as we dedicate two time capsules containing items of local interest. Music will be provided by the Willamette Falls Symphony Brass Ensemble.
A parade of historic cars from 1915 to 1932 will be the first vehicles to travel across the restored bridge carrying the dignitaries. The parade will also include bicyclists and pedestrians who have been riders on the Bridge Shuttle.
Bridge Shuttle Service ends October 14
With the opening of the Oregon City/West Linn Arch Bridge in the early morning hours of October 15, the need for the Bridge Shuttle ends. The last trips on Sunday, Oct. 14 leave West Linn at 10:30 p.m. and leave Oregon City at 10:45 p.m.
When the service ends it will have carried 70,000 riders including over 12,400 bicyclists.
First Student of West Linn and its drivers have done an excellent job. Their drivers provide superior customer service, and we have received many, many compliments from riders. ODOT extends a sincere thank you to First Student for a job well done.
Willamette Falls Festival Celebrates the Arch Bridge Reopening
The Willamette Falls Heritage Area Coalition is excited to celebrate the Historic Oregon City—West Linn Arch Bridge Reopening with a fun-filled, three-day festival Oct. 12-14. Activities will center on the bridge and surrounding areas.
The Willamette Falls Festival will highlight the area’s heritage, culture and outdoor recreational opportunities through featured activities. For complete details about the Willamette Falls Festival, visit www.willamettefallsfestival.com
August 2012 Update
Bridge Reopens to Traffic on October 15
Mark your calendars: The Oregon City/West Linn Bridge is scheduled to reopen to all traffic early Monday morning, October 15. Come celebrate the reopening of this historic Bridge at the Willamette Falls Festival. See more information below.
Bridge Construction Update
The contractor, Wildish Standard Paving, is working both days and evenings to complete work above the bridge deck by October 15. Here are the highlights:
New Roadway: On August 21, the new roadway surface was poured. This new surface is a high performance concrete that will protect the bridge from water and future corrosion.
No Work on the New Bridge Deck for 7 days
After the concrete is poured, the curing process starts by covering the new concrete with wet white burlap. Over that, a plastic sheet of visqueen is placed to seal in the moisture. This new roadway will take about 7 days to cure and workers can’t be on it during this time, so it may appear the bridge work is idle. But workers will be busy at other locations at the ends of the bridge and under the deck. After the bridge reopens, drivers will find this new surface to be a much smoother ride.
The contractor is casting concrete for the hangers that connect the arches and the bridge deck. They are also pouring the rail posts which will close the gaps between the sections of the pre-cast railing. Work will start soon on the sidewalks and railings at the West Linn end of the bridge creating the bridge entrance. The City of Oregon City has a contractor working on the entrance at Oregon City end of the bridge.
Painting the Bridge
Over the years, the bridge has been painted. The old painted concrete and the new repairs are different colors. So, to give the bridge a uniform appearance we are painting it a soft grey which is very close to the color of concrete.
To prepare for painting, the bridge is being pressure washed. Painting is progressing on the bridge ends and the areas underneath the bridges from the barges. Some of the prep work, as well as, some painting will be done from the barges in the rivers. The arches will be painted in early September. When the section of the bridge that crosses OR 99E (McLoughlin Blvd.) is painted, there will be single lane closures during the day.
The Willamette Falls Heritage Area Coalition invites you to attend the Willamette Falls Festival, a celebration of the Falls and the reopening of the Historic Arch Bridge. This fun-filled 3-day festival starts on Friday, October 12 and runs through Sunday, October 14. Festivities will be held in downtown Oregon City and at the West Linn end of the bridge.
Come and share in this unique opportunity to stroll the historic bridge and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Falls. ODOT’s ribbon cutting event for the Arch Bridge is on Sunday afternoon.
Check their web site for more details, Willamette Falls Festival. The Bridge will be open for pedestrians and bicyclists but closed to vehicle traffic from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. The bridge will open to traffic on Monday morning.
REMINDER: Shuttle Service ends on October 14.
The Bridge Shuttle service will end when the Arch Bridge reopens on Monday, October 15. The last trip will be on Sunday, October 14 at 10:30 p.m.
The shuttle has carried over 60,709 riders since the service started on January 15, 2011. This total includes 10,215 bicyclist trips. ODOT thanks First Student for their excellent service providing shuttle service.
The shuttle route will be detoured in Oregon City on Saturday, September 15 for the Downtown Car Show. Look for detour information prior to the event in the shuttle information kiosks.
March 2012 Update
Work continues on many aspects of the project. Here is what the contractor plans to work on over the coming weeks.
Oregon City side of the bridge
- Hydro demolition--the bridge looks like a cocoon. The big white covering is used for containment of debris from the hydro demolition of the Gunite from the arches above the bridge deck.
- Electrical work is being done for new lights on the bridge. When finished the bridge will have both replicas of the original lights on the new pylons and overhead lighting for improved illumination.
- Concrete is being removed from the hangers (columns) between the arches and bridge deck. Steel repairs are being made where corrosion is found. The contractor is also installing new steel stringers (beams) below the bridge deck and repairing steel below the bridge deck.
- New utility supports for the sewer line on the bridge are being installed.
West Linn side of the bridge
- The precast rail is set in place now. Soon the railing posts and sidewalks will be poured.
- New steel bridge joints are being installed in the bridge deck.
Bridge Shuttle Ridership
- New sidewalks are being formed at the West Linn approach and across the bridge.
- The railing and existing sidewalks at the West Linn end will also be removed in preparation for their replacement.
The Shuttle has carried over 40,000 riders in 14 months, including over 6,000 people with bicycles.
Weekend Evening Shuttle Service: Service now operates until 11 p.m., seven days a week. In February, ODOT added this later service on Saturdays and Sundays on a trial basisfor the next 3 months.
February 2012 Update
Before the bridge can be restored to its original grandeur, more demolition has to occur. Here is what the contractor plans to work on over the coming weeks.
The contractor for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is removing sidewalks and railings from the bridge. This demolition work generates some noise during February on both sides of the bridge.
Oregon City Side of the Bridge—Nighttime work
Starting about February 1, night work begins on the bridge where it crosses over McLoughlin Blvd. (OR99E). The old sidewalks and railings will be demolished and new sidewalks and railings installed. This demolition work involves intermittent jack hammering for approximately the first two weeks of February between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
During the last 2 weeks of February, the new sidewalks will be formed and noise level will be reduced.
West Linn Side of the Bridge—Daytime work
Starting February 13, crews will remove the sidewalks and railings on the West Linn end of the bridge. This involves jack hammering and noisy saw cutting and during the day from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for about 3 to 7 days.
Intermittent jack hammering continues throughout February and March. ODOT will shield the equipment to reduce the noise.
To keep motorists safe and minimize traffic disruption, nighttime closures are required on McLoughlin Blvd. (OR99E) of one lane in each direction near the bridge between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Please be aware of the flaggers directing traffic.
Bridge Shuttle hours extended on Saturday and Sunday evenings and retained on weekday evenings
Starting, Monday, February 13, ODOT will permanently extend shuttle service until 11 p.m. on weekdays. This service was added in the fall on an experimental basis and it has been a success.
Weekend Evening Shuttle Service: In addition, based on many requests, ODOT will add service until 11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays on a trial basis for the next 3 months. The added hours will begin on Feb. 18 and 19. Ridership will be evaluated in May and a decision will be about its future if ridership warrants.
January 2012 Update
Attend an Open House for updates on four projects on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
See below for details
Before the bridge can be restored to its original grandeur, moredemolition has to occur.
Here is what the contractor plans to work on over the coming weeks.
OregonCityside of the Bridge
On February 1, night work begins on the bridge where it crosses over McLoughlin Blvd. (OR99E). The old sidewalk must be demolished and a new sidewalk installed. To keep motorists safe, nighttime closures are required on OR99E of one lane in each direction between 6 p.m.and 5 a.m. Please be aware of the flaggers directing traffic.
This demolition work will create some nighttime noise with jackhammering and removing the sidewalk, during the first two weeks of February. During the last 2 weeks of February, the new sidewalks will be formed and noise will be reduced.
West Linn side of the Bridge
Starting February 1, crews will begin removing the sidewalks and railings on the West Linn end of the bridge. This involves sawcutting and jackhammering. This noisy sawcutting work will occur during the day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for 3 to 7 days. Intermittent jackhammering continues throughout February. ODOT will shield the equipment to reduce the noise.
Additional work on the bridge includes: New brackets installed for the sewer line that runs underneath the bridge and new concrete poured under the deck at the ends of the beams, as well as, repair of corroded steel sidewalk supports on the West Linn side.
Projects Open House
You’re invited to hear project updates on February 8 at the Pioneer Center in Oregon City.
ODOT and the Oregon City Staff will be on hand to update you on four current and upcoming projects in the area:
ªOregon City/West Linn Bridge ªMain Street Improvements in Oregon City
ªOR213 “Jughandle” Project ª OR99E paving from 10th Street to Territorial Road
Location: Pioneer Center, 615 Fifth Street, Oregon City
Date & Time: Wednesday, Feb. 8. Drop by between 5:30-7:00 p.m.
A session for downtown Oregon City businesses will be held earlier in the day.
Bridge Shuttle News
Later weekday evening service was added in September on a trial basis and at the end of January, we will determine if it will continue. At the same time, we will announce if later evening service on Saturday and Sunday nights will be added. Overall, ridership continues to be strong on the shuttle.
December 2011 Update
Before the bridge can be restored to its original grandeur, some demolition has to occur.
Here is what the contractor plans to work on over the coming weeks.
Main Street Bridge Approach
At the Oregon City end of the bridge, you may have recently seen or heard the removal of the worn out, concrete bridge approach (roadway). After the rebar is replaced, the new concrete approach will be poured, resulting in a smoother transition for motorists from Main Street onto the bridge.
The old sidewalk and bridge railings are being removed between Main Street and McLoughlin Blvd (OR 99E). Before the bridge closure the deterioration of railings was quite visible. The first step in replacement of the sidewalks and railings involves concrete cutting and jack hammering. In January, the new sidewalks will begin to be formed and poured. To do this work, the alleys on both sides of the bridge in Oregon City have been temporarily closed. They will remain closed for several months.
Steel Repair, Gunite Removal and Shotcrete Application
Steel repair work continues throughout the bridge and preparations are underway for the application of Shotcrete on sections of steel that are in good condition or have been repaired. This work is weather dependent.
On the Oregon City side, the Shotcrete replacement is complete under the bridge from the river to the road deck.
In mid-December, the barges will be removed from the Oregon City side for the winter. The barges on the West Linn side will remain until the river starts its usual winter rise.
Most of the hydro demolition work has ended until spring. Then it starts up again to remove the Gunite (old concrete) from the upper arches.
The bridge project contractor, Wildish Standard Paving, will be off work between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Work resumes on January 3.
Over the next several months, project noise on the Oregon City side will be at a high level due to rivet replacement, concrete cutting, jack hammering and breaking up the debris. ODOT is working with a noise consultant to take steps to monitor and reduce the noise impact.
In January, concrete cutting on the railings and sidewalks will begin on the West Linn side.
Other January Work
In early January, the contractor will be prepare and install the Shotcrete under the bridge deck on the West Linn side. In addition, steel repair continues on the arches and under the bridge.
Bridge Shuttle News
More Shuttle Service? ODOT is trying to determine if there is sufficient need to offer Bridge Shuttle service later in the evenings on Saturdays and Sundays between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. There are also budgetary considerations.
The daily average ridership for the Bridge Shuttle is continues. After 45 weeks of service, the total number of shuttle riders is 30,941 including 5,425 bicyclists. Later weekday evening service was added in September on a trial basis and we will evaluate at the end of January to see if it will continue.
The average number of pedestrians riding each weekday is currently 113 and the daily average for bicyclists is 18.
November 2011 Update
The project is on scheduleto finish in October 2012. Many of the crews have been working long hours--at night and on Saturdays to meet this goal.
Work continues on many aspects of the project both above and below the bridge deck. The contractor is applying Shotcrete inside and outside the arch chambers on the Oregon City side. At the same time the old Gunite is being removed from the West Linn side below the deck.
Also, this month, bumpers called strakes are being installed on the upstream side of the arches. These bumpers protect the bridge from debris floating downstream during high water. The previous strakes were wood and the new ones will be a composite of wood and plastic to last longer. This work utilizes the barges and manlifts for installation. The barges also enable easier access for work on the piers and under the deck. The barges will remain in place until the river starts to rise. They will return again in the spring of 2012.
Repair work continues on the main span and on the arches. Temporary supports are in place under the sidewalk. In addition, steel repair work is going on below the deck at several locations at a time.
This month saw the completion of repairs to cracks in the old concrete. They were repaired by crack injection of special epoxies. In addition, patching of the old concrete is ongoing.
Concrete is being removed from the bottom portions of the vertical connections called hangers between the arch and the roadway. This gives the contractor the ability to inspect and make steel repairs to the steel hangers holding up the bridge deck. Once the repairs are completed, new concrete will be recast around the hangers. This work will occur through out the winter months.
Bridge Shuttle News
The daily average ridership for the Bridge Shuttle is continues. After 41 weeks of service, the total number of shuttle riders is 28,112 including 5,120 bicyclists. Later weekday evening service was added in September on a trial basis and we will evaluate at the end of December if it will continue.
The average number of pedestrians riding each weekday is currently 91 and the daily average for bicyclists is 19 which increased from 16 per day since the summer tally.
September 2011 Update
The answer to the most frequently asked question is: Yes, the work on the bridge is on scheduleand is expected to re-open in the fall 2012.
The contractor is currently working on the following:
- Hydroblasting to remove the Gunite (concrete) from the Oregon City side of the bridge, below the deck. This completes the Gunite removal in this section.
- Installing the bumpers along the upstream side of the bridge. They protect the arches from damage caused by floating debris.
- Getting ready for hydroblasting on the West Linn side, below the deck. Additional barges will arrive in mid-September and contractor will construct the containment system to contain and capture the debris.
- The decorative pylons (obelisks) have been removed and stored for donation to local jurisdictions. The modern “cobra head” lights have been removed and will be replaced with historic replica lighting on the reconstructed pylons. “Shoebox type” lights overhead lights will be installed next year to provide additional lighting.
Another Question and Answer
The answer to another question we’re frequently asked is:
Why aren’t there more workers on the project?
Answer: This type of rehabilitation work is more sequential and linear than building a new bridge from scratch. When a new bridge starts from scratch workers can work on several areas at a time. In the case of a historic bridge rehabilitation, portions of the bridge are first carefully uncovered, then the structure condition is evaluated, and then the rehab work can begin. On the Arch Bridge, critical repairs were needed below the deck so that the bridge can support and handle the load of the construction equipment. Also, in several areas the deck has been removed first, to provide access to repair the roadway support beams.
Access to the bridge deck is limited, difficult and confined. Only a few workers can be in a particular area at one time. To address this, the contractor has several small crews working on various parts of the bridge. The crews range from 2-4 people, with 3 to 4 crews working at any point in time. Most work, so far, has been underneath the deck and inside the hydro-demolition containment system and so not visible from the street.
All-way stop signs will be installed in mid-September, at the West Linn intersection of Willamette Falls Drive and OR 43, to address traffic backups during afternoon commute time.
ODOT asks motorist to not use Mill Street or the West Linn Paper Mill parking lot (private property) to turn around or make U-turns because it interferes with mill operations. ODOT is continuing to monitor the backups and we are proactively working with the West Linn police on these issues.
Many thanks to the 195 people who responded to the survey about the Bridge Project about ODOT’s communications efforts for this project and the shuttle service. Your responses and suggestions are very insightful and helpful. We are in the process of implementing many of the suggestions such as: Provide more frequent updates, share more information and project photos on the web site. Additional shuttle service is under consideration.
Feel free to share any additional suggestions or comments with me.
Bridge Shuttle News
With the nice weather, the daily average ridership for the Bridge Shuttle is growing. After 32 weeks of service, the number of shuttle riders is 19,550 including 3,524 bicyclists.
The average number of pedestrians riding each weekday is currently 100 and the daily average for bicyclists is 16.
The Oregon City Main Street Improvement Projects have resulted in a slight change to the routing of the Bridge Shuttle for the next 6 weeks from 99E to Main Street. The stop location has notchanged.
Temporary Bus Stop Location September 17
All day, Saturday, September 17, the Bridge Shuttle stop in Oregon City will be moved to 6th Street & McLoughlin, due to the Downtown Car Show. This temporary stop is next to the Elks Lodge and is 3 blocks south of the regular stop.
July 2011 Update
The most visible part of the bridge rehabilitation work starts soon as the Gunite (concrete) coating on the steel is removed using a very high pressure water process called hydroblasting. You can view the work under the bridge deck from the east side of the sidewalk of Hwy 99E. Or go to the top of the Municipal Elevator for a good view of the other work going on above the deck.
With the arrival of the barges, the contractor is preparing the containment system for the hydroblasting. Big curtains will direct and capture the water and debris into containers so none of it enters the river. After treatment it is sent through the sanitary sewer system. You will see clouds of steam from this hydroblasting, rising over the tops of the curtains. The steam is only water vapor—no chemicals.
The Gunite removal starts next week on the arches under the bridge deck on the Oregon City side and later it moves to the West Linn side. When the Gunite is gone, you will be able to see the steel of the arch ribs. The workers will use “Manlift” access platforms, stationed on the barges, to remove the Gunite below the bridge deck. The curtains will be moved along as the work progresses along the span. The whole process continues for about 6 weeks. Windy days can affect this schedule. So the contractor will work longer days during the hydroblasting. The work on the arches above the deck will start at a later date.
To address traffic backups during afternoon commute time in West Linn at Willamette Falls Drive, ODOT recently installed signs to indicate that the right lane on Willamette Falls Drive approaching OR 43 is local access to the paper mill and police station only. ODOT asks motorist to not use Mill Street or the West Linn Paper Mill parking lot (private property) to turn around or make U-turns because it interferes with mill operations.
ODOT is continuing to look at additional measures to reduce congestion in this area and we are proactively working with the West Linn police on these issues.
With the nice weather, Bridge Shuttle ridership is growing. After 23 weeks of service, the number of shuttle riders is 13,459 including 1,969 bicyclists.
The average number of pedestrians riding on weekdays is currently 81 and the daily average for bicyclists is 12. Overall pedestrians ride more on weekdays and bicyclists ride more on weekends.
OTHER REPAIR WORK
Timber “Bumper” Replacement
The bridge has “bumpers” attached to the arch on the upstream side of the bridge protecting it from damage caused by logs floating down the river in high water. The current wooden bumpers will be replaced with timber-type lumber made from reclaimed plastic and wood waste.
The installation of seismic restraints continues, throughout the length of the bridge, for the next few weeks. These restraints consist of steel cables and bracket plates connected under the bridge to keep the roadway from falling in case of an earthquake.
The contractor is replacing the beams in the sidewalk that have corroded over time, where the arch goes through the deck. Other ongoing work includes replacement of areas of corroded steel.
Update May 27, 2011
Work continues under the roadway (bridge deck) on the beams (stringers) that support the bridge deck. These stringers are 20 feet long, 15 inches high and 8 inches wide. The contractor is repairing corroded stringer ends by cutting out sections of the bridge deck, removing corroded portions and installing new stringer ends. The deck will be repaired and new joints installed to create water tight joints. You can see the large beams placed across the bridge providing support to make these repairs.
Starting the last week of May, installation of seismic restraints will start. These restraints consist of steel cables and plates connected under the bridge to keep the roadway from falling in an earthquake.
In early June, the contractor will start injecting epoxy into some of the cracks in the concrete on the bridge. This will prevent moisture from getting into the concrete and corroding the reinforcing steel over time. They will also repair some of the cracks in the retaining walls in the alleys on the Oregon City side. Some temporary closures of the alleys will occur during this work. Local business access will be coordinated by the contractor.
In mid-June, Shotcrete will be applied to the steel inside the arch chambers below the bridge.
The barges are scheduled to return the week of June 13 to be used as a platform for access and containment while the contractor removes the outside Gunite on the arch ribs. Since the locks are not open to river traffic, the arrival of the barges from Wilsonville needed to be scheduled during the locks’ maintenance period.
In mid-June, sections of the sidewalk will be removed to provide access to perform inspection and make repairs below the bridge.
Shuttle ridership is growing. On May 2, the frequency increased to every 30 minutes. Departures leave West Linn on the hour and half hour and leave Oregon City at :15 and :30 minutes after the hour.
After 17 weeks of service (May 15), the number of shuttle riders is over 9,215 including 1,170 bicyclists riding the shuttle. The average number of pedestrians riding per day is 76 and the daily average for bicyclists is 10.
Remember all businesses adjacent to the bridge are open.
ODOT continuously monitors traffic around the bridge and has made modifications to improve the increased volume of traffic. On the West Linn side of the bridge, ramp meters are set to automatically adjust based on the real-time traffic volume. Striping changes have been made on the on-ramps to improve the flow and reduce back-ups on I-205. Also, to reduce improper turns, tubular markers were installed at the intersection of Willamette Falls Drive and OR 43. Changes made on one road affect others so it is a balance between maintaining both safety and traffic flow. More changes are coming.
Update April 2011
Bridge Shuttle Service Added
Starting Monday, May 2, the Arch Bridge Shuttle will run more frequently by reducing the waiting time between trips. It will now take 15 minutes each way between Oregon City and West Linn rather than the current 20 minutes.
The Shuttle will leave West Linn on the hour and half-hour. It will depart Oregon City at :15 and :45 minutes after the hour.
The shuttle operates Mondays-Fridays from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Shuttle can carry up to 7 passengers, 4 bicycles and 1 wheelchair.
Since the shuttle started on Jan. 15, it has carried 5,633 riders, including 591 bicyclists. This is an average of 72 passengers per day on weekdays. The weekends see higher bicycle rider usage with an average of 9 bicyclists per day using the shuttle.
Repair Work Continues
Looking ahead, here is what is coming for the project in May. The contractor is continuing to remove the Gunite from the bridge. The focus will be underneath the roadway where a curtain enclosure and containment pans will capture the debris.
Repair work is being done on the roadway supports and the expansion joints.
The repair work on the arch columns is being completed. In addition, seismic upgrades are being incorporated into the project overall.
During the week of May 1, there will be lane closures both north and southbound on
OR 99E (McLoughlin Boulevard), so the contractor can work on the girders that span OR 99E.
Barges Return in June
Barges are tentatively scheduled to be stationed under the bridge beginning in early June. They will serve as work platforms and for debris containment. Their arrival was anticipated to occur in early May but high river flow due to late snow and wet spring weather caused a delay. The heavy river flows create dangerous movement of barges on the river. Once barges are in position this will allow for other work below the bridge to occur such as hydro-blasting and shotcrete placement. The barges will come through the locks again, from up river at Wilsonville.
Update April 5, 2011
The hydroblasting inside the arch chambers is complete on the Oregon City and West Linn bridge piers. This work removed all the Gunite using high pressure water at 40,000 pounds per square inch (psi). This is difficult and dangerous work. The workers had to wear protective gear and the blasting created huge amounts of steam making it impossible to see. The workers had to listen for the differences in sound to know when all the Gunite was off of a steel beam.
Bridge Column Repair
Over the years, areas of corrosion developed where water seeped below the bridge deck and penetrated the concrete, damaging the steel columns at their attachment points to the deck and the arch. The bridge deck is being jacked up in various spots so that workers can remove concrete that surrounds the columns supporting the bridge. While the column is temporarily supported, the column steel connections are being repaired.
So far the corrosion and repairs needed have not exceeded our expectations and that is good news.
All of this work is done by hand by individual workers and much of it out of sight—inside the chambers, arches or under the bridge deck. Later in the project you will see larger equipment on the bridge as sections of the deck, sidewalks and railings are removed.
Soon materials will be delivered to build a temporary support structure (falsework) on the Oregon City end of the bridge. It will support the span across 99E while the horizontal beams (girders) which attach the deck to the pier are repaired.
Temporary Traffic Impacts on 99E
In upcoming weeks, materials for the falsework will be delivered and construction work will require the closure of the right lane of southbound 99E during the day. For specific dates and more information, see the weekly construction report. Click on the link on the left side web page.
Adjustments Made to Improve Traffic Flow
When the bridge closed, the 13,500 vehicles that crossed daily, started using other routes to reach their destination. ODOT anticipated this and made adjustments to the traffic signals on I-205, OR99E and OR213 to balance mobility and safety. The overall priority is to minimize backups on the detour route, I-205 to help people get to where they are going safely and efficiently. ODOT adjusted the signal timing on OR 213 and 99E to increase the green signal time. On I-205, the ramp metering timing has been changed to keep traffic moving and the striping has been modified on the on- and off- ramps and merge lanes to increase traffic flow. ODOT constantly monitors these areas to see if additional changes are needed.
The Bridge Shuttle has carried 4,564 riders between West Linn and Oregon City from Jan. 14 to March 20. This is an daily average of 78 people on weekdays and 52 on weekend days. These include a daily average of 7 bicyclists per day on weekdays and 8.5 on weekends.
The shuttle runs from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays. ODOT is reviewing the schedule as we have received many positive comments and requests for additional service. We will determine if service can be added given the available funding.
Remember all businesses adjacent to the bridge are open. ____________________________________________________________________
Update February 17, 2011
There is lots of work going on but much of it is not visible to the public. The contractor, Wildish Standard Paving, is hydroblasting inside the arch chamber on the West Linn side of the bridge. This chamber is located at the base of the arch where it intersects the pier. This ultra high water pressure removes the Gunite so the contractor can examine the steel underneath for corrosion or damage and make any needed repairs. New Shotcrete (concrete) is then applied inside the arch chamber.
Also on the West Linn side, the contractor is jacking up the bridge to take the weight off the columns under the bridge that connect the bridge deck to the arch. After removing the concrete, the contractor inspects the column connections and repairs any damage. New concrete will be poured at the column connections.
When this work is completed on the West Linn side, the contractor will move to the Oregon City side to do the same work over the next month.
All material that is removed through hydroblasting and demolition is captured and contained so that nothing enters the river.
Willamette Falls and Bridge Celebration
Over 750 people braved the rainy weather to attend the Jan. 15 ceremony marking the closure of the bridge and celebrate the heritage of the Willamette Falls. Walking across the bridge before the closure was a popular activity that day.
In addition, ODOT Region 1 Manager presented Oregon City Mayor Doug Neeley with a check for nearly $1.1 million for the Main Street circulation and sidewalk improvement projects.
Arch Bridge Shuttle
The bridge shuttle is carrying passengers throughout the day and has been well received by riders.
Update January 13, 2011
Oregon City Arch Bridge Celebration Saturday
To mark the occasion of the Oregon City/West Linn Bridge closure, the Willamette Falls National Heritage Area Coalition has organized a celebration this Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. that includes a bridge walk before the span officially closes. There will be a covered area, heaters and free shuttles to and from the bridge from West Linn High School’s parking lot.
The event commemorates the importance of the falls on the Willamette River and the bridge linking Oregon City and West Linn, as well as the work underway to create a National Heritage Area. Participants include the Grande Ronde storytellers and dancers, local artists who draw inspiration from the site, and roving presenters sharing tales of pioneering days.
Attendees can share their stories of the bridge and the falls as the bridge "winters in" and the rebuilding begins. A staff person from Congressman Kurt Schrader’s office, an advocate of establishing the site as a National Heritage Area, will attend, along with other local and state officials from Clackamas County, West Linn, Oregon City, the Grande Ronde Tribe, ODOT and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
For more information about the event, check out the website at: www.wfheritage.org
Bridge Shuttle Service for Bicyclists and Pedestrians
During the closure, ODOT has arranged a bridge shuttle service for bicycles and pedestrians. The shuttle starts operation Friday, Jan. 14 and operates Monday through Friday, from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If your business would like a supply of schedules for the shuttle service, please contact me.
For more information about the bridge project, check out the website at: www.archrehab.com
Update Jan. 6, 2011
Open House Added in West Linn on Jan. 11
ODOT has scheduled an additional open house in West Linn on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at West Linn High School. Given the high level of interest in the National Championship Bowl Game on Jan. 10, we wanted to offer West Linn and Oregon City residents another opportunity to get their questions answered about the project, detours and the shuttle service.
The Monday, Jan. 10, open house at the West Linn Public Library at 1595 Burns St. will continue as planned from 5 to 7 p.m. This meeting was scheduled before the BCS game was determined.
The additional Jan. 11 meeting will be held at West Linn High School, at 5464 West A St., in the Forum Room from 5 to 7 p.m.
Shuttle Service Starts Jan. 14
The Arch Bridge Shuttle service running between West Linn and Oregon City will start operation at 5 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 14. The start has been delayed from Jan. 10 as earlier announced due to equipment delays.
The Bridge Shuttle bus can carry passengers, 4 bicycles and has a lift to accommodate wheelchairs.
The Shuttle operates Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. and on weekends from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. The schedule is available on the project web site www.archrehab.com and at Oregon City and West Linn businesses adjacent to the Bridge.
An Event to Remember: The Fall. The Bridge. The Story.
On Saturday, Jan. 15, walk the bridge and attend the event that commemorates the Willamette Falls National Heritage Area and the Arch Bridge. Grand Ronde drummers and storytellers will perform and local artists will on hand. The event takes place on the bridge inside a heated tent. Parking is available at West Linn High School and a shuttle bus will take you to the bridge.
Please contact me, if:
- You have any questions about the project.
- You are interested in hosting a presentation by ODOT staff at your neighborhood, workplace or business group meeting.
- You or others would like to be added to the email list to receive these updates.
December 17, 2010: Project Update
The date is set for the closure of the bridge for the major rehabilitation to start. On Saturday, January 15 at 6 a.m. the bridge will close to all traffic including pedestrians and bicyclists for up to 24 months.
Detour Route for Motorists
Signs are being placed on Interstate 205 and other area roads directing motorists to use the I-205 Abernethy Bridge to cross the Willamette River between West Linn and Oregon City. It is less than 1 mile from the Arch Bridge.
Access to all businesses in downtown Oregon City will be open throughout the project. Signs will direct motorists to business access points from McLoughlin Boulevard. (OR 99E).
Community Open Houses
You are invited to attend an open house to hear the latest information on the Arch Bridge project, talk with project staff and get your questions answered.
Oregon City: Wed, Jan. 5, from 5-7 p.m.
Pioneer Community Center
615 5th Street
Drop by anytime. Presentations at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.
West Linn: Mon, Jan. 10, from 5-7 p.m.
West Linn Public Library
1595 Burns St.
Drop by anytime. Presentations at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.
The Willamette Falls National Heritage Area Coalition invites citizens to an event on January 15, 2011 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. that will include the unique opportunity to walk the length of the historic arch bridge. More information below.
Arch Bridge Shuttle for Pedestrians and Bicyclists
The Arch Bridge Shuttle service begins operation on Monday, Jan. 10 prior to the closure. The Bridge Shuttle bus can carry passengers, 4 bicycles and has a lift to accommodate wheelchairs.
The Shuttle operates Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. and on weekends from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. The specific schedule is being finalized and will be available in late December on the project web site www.archrehab.com and at Oregon City and West Linn businesses adjacent to the Bridge.
Shuttle Stop Locations
The Bridge Shuttle serves two stops which will be marked with Bridge Shuttle signs and bus shelters.
The West Linn stop is located on Oregon Highway 43 (Willamette Drive) at the old TriMet stop location. It is just northeast of the bridge, where Willamette Falls Drive intersects with Willamette Drive (Hwy 43).
In Oregon City, the stop is located on 7th Street between Main Street and Oregon Highway 99E (McLoughlin Boulevard) adjacent to the US Bank parking lot.
The Willamette Falls National Heritage Area Coalition invites citizens to an event on January 15, 2011 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. that will include the unique opportunity to walk the length of the historic arch bridge on the day it closes.
The event will commemorate the importance of the bridge between communities and the work underway to create a National Heritage Area. Key players in the story of the Falls, including Grand Ronde storytellers and dancers, local artists who draw inspiration from the site, and roving presenters weaving tales of pioneering days, will be highlights of the event. Check out the web site for more information: www.wfheritage.org
November 5, 2010: Project Update
Bridge Closure date: The contractor has now set the date of the closure of the Arch Bridge to all traffic. It is set for Saturday, January 15, 2011. The closure is expected to last up to 24 months.
A public event is planned for January 15 to celebrate the heritage of the bridge and walk across it. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details.
Free shuttle service for bicyclists and pedestrians will start on January 15. We are finalizing the details of the shuttle service which will run 7 days a week. Schedules, stop locations and route details will be available in December.
Two open houses for the project will be scheduled for early January. One will be held in West Linn and one in Oregon City. The purpose is to share information about the project and answer any questions. More details will be forthcoming in a newsletter sent to all area residents in late December. The open houses will also be publicized on the project web site www.archrehab.com and in the next email update.
September 30, 2010: Project Update
The clean out and inspection work in the arch chambers of the bridge is complete. These chambers are located where the arches intersect with the bridge piers and they had not been opened since the bridge was built.
Barges served as the work platforms for this phase of the project and they carried away the debris from inside the chambers for proper disposal. The barges have left and will return in November to start the preparation for the major work which will begin mid-January.
Bicycle/Pedestrian Shuttle: A task force has been meeting to finalize the specifications for the bicycle pedestrian shuttle bus service. The task force consists of representatives from the cities of West Linn and Oregon City, Clackamas County, Downtown Oregon City, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, ODOT’s Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator and ODOT Community Affairs staff. The group met in 2009 to develop recommendations for how to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians during the bridge closure. Now this task force has refined their recommendations for the shuttle’s time schedule, stop locations, amenities and publicity. We expect the request for proposals to go out, in late October, for a contractor to provide the shuttle bus service. Service details will be publicized in December.
ODOT staff gave project updates to the Oregon City Commission and the Oregon City Citizen Involvement Council. In addition, staff shared information at the First Night Art Walk in Oregon City. An update for the West Linn City Council is being scheduled.
Traffic impacts: There may be intermittent single lane closures this fall. The bridge will not closeto all traffic until mid-January 2011. It will remain closed for two years while the contractor Wildish Standard Paving of Eugene replaces and repairs the deck, joints, rails, lighting and protective coating on this famous arch span.
July 30, 2010: Project Update
Willamette River users will be the first to notice work on a $10.6 million rehabilitation of the historic Oregon City / West Linn Arch Bridge, which begins next week.
Barges will move up the Willamette River and be installed Tuesday at the base of the 88-year-old bridge. The barges, used as work platforms and also to prevent material from impending bridge work from going into the river, are anchored by cable attached to each shore.
With barges in place, the river channel will shrink to 120 feet wide, requiring boaters to use additional caution as they move through the area. Fishing is not allowed near the barges while they are in the river and access to the current fishing dock is restricted while the barges are in place.
Project work begins this summer, but the bridge will not close until at least mid-January 2011. It will remain closed for two years while the contractor Wildish Standard Paving of Eugene replaces and repairs the deck, joints, rails, lighting and protective coating on its famous arch span.
The bridge must be closed to all traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians for approximately two years during the rehabilitation. Motorists will detour over the nearby Interstate 205 Abernethy Bridge. A shuttle bus service will serve bicyclists and pedestrians.
The Oregon City / West Linn Arch Bridge opened in 1922 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by Oregon State Bridge Engineer Conde McCullough, who also designed many of Oregon’s lauded coastal bridges on U.S. 101.
July 12, 2010: Project Update
The contractor for this project, Wildish Standard Paving, has set up their field office adjacent to the project site on the West Linn side of the river. They are beginning to mobilize for the start of the project.
One of the first activities is setting up cables and booms in the river for the barges that are expected to be in place in August. We have notified regulatory agencies about the final barge plans. These agencies include the Coast Guard, Oregon State Marine Board and the Clackamas County Marine Patrol.
The barges, which are each 50-60 feet long, provide stable platforms for work occurring during all phases of the project. The cables anchor the barges to the shore and the booms protect boaters from running into the cables. The booms also have lights on them so they can be seen at nighttime. Due to this equipment in the river, access to each shore will be restricted in the work area. We are notifying river users about this using a variety of methods.
The full closure of the bridge will not occur until January 15, 2011 at the earliest. There will be intermittent single lane closures this summer and fall.
Our staff recently met with the League of West Linn Neighborhoods to give them a project update.
May 21, 2010: Project Update
The successful bidder for the bridge rehabilitation project is Wildish Standard Paving of Eugene, Oregon. They are currently finalizing their detailed project schedule. As soon as all the appropriate paperwork is complete and a notice to proceed is issued, Wildish will begin mobilization. As stated before, the full closure of the bridge will not occur until January 15, 2011 at the earliest. There will be intermittent single lane closures this summer and fall.
Work will start this summer, including inspection of the arch ribs inside the chambers at the base of the bridge on each side. You will also see the contractor mobilizing equipment, establishing mooring points for the barges and the barges moving into place on the river.
The inspection work inside the arches is currently wrapping up and the scaffolding will be removed soon so both sidewalks will be open.
This past week, ODOT staff hosted an information table at Willamette Falls Lock Fest where we talked with about 100 people about the project. Staff also attended the Bolton Neighborhood meeting to give a presentation on the project.
April 30, 2010: Project Update
Bids have been received for the bridge rehabilitation and an apparent successful bidder has been identified. After all the necessary review is done and a notice to proceed has been issued, we will announce the name of the successful contractor. ODOT staff are pleased with the experience and expertise of the bidders. As mentioned in an earlier update, it will be 7-8 weeks before any work starts.
The inspection work inside the arches continues by ODOT and a contractor’s staff. The purpose is to assess the condition of the steel inside the arches. Measurements are being taken and reviewed to determine any needed repairs. The work is complete on the upstream side and the scaffolding tower has moved to the downstream side. There will be single-lane closures on the bridge for the assembly and subsequent disassembly of the scaffolding.
April 5, 2010: Project Update
The contract for rehabilitating the Oregon City/West Linn Arch Bridge is out for bid. A mandatory pre-bid meeting for interested contractors will include a tour of the bridge. As mentioned in a previous update, ODOT is using a special contracting process to retain a primary contractor who has the specific experience needed to do the job effectively and efficiently. Bids are due April 20 and it will be 7-8 weeks before the contractor starts the first work on the project.
Based on feedback from the business community ODOT’s contract stipulates the full closure of the bridge cannot occur before January 15, 2011. The closure is expected to last 24 months and there are daily financial penalties if the closure exceeds the time period in the contract.
Part of the contractor’s first work will be to inspect the condition of the steel underneath the “Gunite,” where the arches contact the two riverbanks. The intent is to have a thorough look at the “arch chambers,” where silt and water have accumulated over the years, to assess the condition of the steel under the “Gunite” coating. This will help the contractor develop an accurate picture of the needed repairs. This work will occur this summer.
Currently, towers have been assembled on the sidewalks to allow access into the arches. ODOT inspectors will be checking the condition of the steel arches from inside. There will be single-lane closures on the bridge for the assembly and subsequent disassembly of the scaffolding.
A mailing will go out this summer detailing the project and construction timeline for residents and businesses throughout the area. It also will emphasize that during the construction period businesses are open and easy access is available via the detour and shuttle service.
February 2010: Project Update
ODOT staff have been working on final preparations for construction bids for the bridge rehabilitation. It is expected that the contract will be awarded late this spring and preliminary work is likely to start this summer.
The agency has worked extensively with local community and business leaders, and ODOT’s strategy incorporates the concerns they have expressed. Key points include:
• Strategically timed closure. ODOT will not start the planned two-year closure until January, 2011, at the earliest. Prior to the full closure, however, the bridge will be closed briefly, a handful of times for inspections.
• A different kind of contracting process. Instead of selecting the lowest bidder, project managers are using a special contracting process to retain a primary contractor who has the specific experience needed to do this work effectively and quickly.
• Thorough inspection. ODOT plans to conduct an additional inspection suggested in the Federal Highway Administration’s review of the project. The results of the inspection will help project leaders create an accurate timeline for the work. ODOT staff and an engineering contractor will inspect the arch ribs of the bridge with ultrasonic equipment in late March or early April. To conduct this inspection, the sidewalk—one side at a time--will need to be closed for one month.
December 2009: Project Update
The results of the Federal Highway Administration’s report which reviewed the bridge construction plans and looked at similar projects in the U.S is now available. It was conducted at the request of ODOT and local FHWA Administrator Philip Ditzler. The report was conducted as a result of the meeting called by Oregon House Speaker Dave Hunt in September.
The FHWA report contains information that indicates “The review team was unable to identify a bridge rehabilitation project which is similar in bridge type and scope to the Oregon City Arch Bridge.”
The report further recommends that ODOT look more closely into three areas to more fully ascertain the needed repairs. These areas include the stringers (part of the bridge deck supports), the areas where the arch penetrates the bridge deck and the areas where the arch of the bridge meets the river bank. Read the FHWA report here.
As a result, ODOT will reschedule the bid-let date to the Spring of 2010. At this point it is expected that the bridge closure would occur sometime in early 2011, when the contractor schedules the closure work. ODOT will continue to work with the contractor to keep the bridge closure as short as possible. Until work is underway, there are still potentially unforeseen risks and unknowns to this project due to its unique nature.
ODOT is taking these extra steps to better understand the risks and needs of the project. FHWA and ODOT are working cooperatively in partnership to bring this report, a new resource, to this unique project.
Media coverage on the FHWA report:
November 2009: Project Update
• The Bicycle/Pedestrian Work Group has concluded its work. After carefully studying seven options, the Work Group is recommending that ODOT provide shuttle service to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians during the expected two-year closure of the bridge. Read a full copy of the report by clicking here.
October 2009: Project Update
• In September 2009, Region 1 Manager Jason Tell met with local legislators and business people to update them on the project and to announce that City of Oregon City will receive a $35,000 Transportation Growth Management Quick Response grant to pay for a Main Street traffic circulation study. ODOT worked closely with the City to prepare the grant application.
• ODOT has also worked with the City of Oregon City to assist with their funding request for Main Street Corridor Streetscape improvements. Possible funding sources include federal stimulus funds or Transportation Enhancements grant.
• ODOT conducted a constructability review of the project. Four representatives of two bridge construction firms toured the bridge and discussed how long they thought the project would take and possible options to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians during construction. The contractors stated that they expect construction work to require a two-year closure of the bridge. ODOT will make it clear to all contractors bidding on the project that it is a priority to reopen the bridge as soon as possible and contract language will be written to address it.
• The bicycle and pedestrian work group has continued to meet to examine alternatives for getting bicycle and pedestrian access across the river during construction. Under considerations are a shuttle service, a separate bridge, use of I-205 and a water crossing. After several meetings, the group has eliminated all but the shuttle service and possible access across the bridge. A final report is expected this month.
• A public involvement and outreach plan has been developed detailing ODOT's plans to inform Oregon City and West Linn area residents, businesses, bicyclists, pedestrians, commuters and elected officials about the project on a regular basis. ODOT will use multiple media sources and electronic methods to provide the updates.
March 2009: Load Limit Effective March 4, 2009
The Oregon Department of Transportation is placing a new weight restriction to the Willamette River Bridge. The historic bridge built in 1922 connects Oregon City and West Linn. The structure will be closed to all commercial motor vehicles and all vehicles weighing more than 14 tons, effective Wednesday, March 4, 2009.
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