Sellwood Bridge study moving ahead in 2008

We met Maria Rojo de Steffey early in the morning at Portland’s Terminal 2, while watching the Sauvie Island Bridge arch leave the dock and head downriver. Her involvement with that bridge is winding down, but there’s a lot of work to do before construction starts on the Sellwood.
I like that the committee does such a good job of keeping us informed.

Here’s the latest mail I got from Maria:

The Sellwood Bridge project made great progress in 2007. The wide range of possible bridge alignments, cross-sections and interchange types were narrowed down to five complete alternatives that are now being analyzed in the draft Environmental Impact Statement DEIS.

Additionally, six bridge types were selected for further analysis in the DEIS. “Bridge type” refers to a general structural type – exact designs for any new or rehabilitated bridge will be determined after the environmental study is complete. The bridge types selected are of moderate and higher price that also meet the requirements of different alignments, users, and construction plans.

A technical team is now studying the impacts and costs of these alternatives. In late summer 2008, study results will be announced and the public will be invited to help select a locally preferred alternative that includes a single bridge type. Several local governments and the Federal Highway Administration need to approve the preferred alternative. We are confident that by the end of 2008 we will know what type of bridge will be built, where it will be located and how large it will be. Decisions about design details will be made later in the design phase.

I would like to acknowledge the tremendous work of the Sellwood Bridge Community Task Force and Policy Advisory Group, whose members spent many, many hours last year discussing the project, reviewing public input, deliberating various options, and arriving at the recommendations that are being studied today. I would also like to thank you for your time and interest in this project as well. We have been impressed that so many thousands of people have taken the time to share their views with us.

We will continue to send you email updates as the project moves forward this year. I encourage you to continue to stay involved. For the latest project information, visit

Thanks again. Maria Rojo de Steffey

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