Friday was a fun day. We arrived in the dark a little after 7:00 am to watch the preparations. While we waited we had a nice chat with Multnomah County Commissioner, Maria Rojo de Steffy who discussed some of the issues involving the need for, and construction of, this new bridge. Finally about 8:30, after getting the ok from the insurance, and safety officials, the new arch was pushed out into the channel. They did a quick 90 left turn in order to face down river and then set off at a surprisingly fast pace for such a large and heavy object. We raced up highway 30 in hopes of watching the arch float under the St. Johns bridge, but a traffic accident allowed the arch to beat us to the spot, so we continued on up to Sauvie Island. All the parking in the center of the exit ramp directly off the bridge has been taken over by construction equipment all summer long, but there is parking north of the store so its just a short little walk back up to the dike, for prime bridge installation viewing. It wasn’t more than just a few minutes before the arch arrived, stopping in the middle of the channel to be turned 90 degrees once so that it would be parallel with the bridge. Then it was pushed into a position that will allow all the final prep work can be done prior to final installment. That is expected to take Saturday and Sunday. Don’t get too excited, the bridge doesn’t open until Summer of 2008.
You can usually find some good Sauvie Island stuff at SauvieIsland.org
And, Multnomah County Bridge updates at the Multnomah County site