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Old 12-18-2011, 02:35 AM
Location: Still in Portland, Oregon, for some reason
890 posts, read 3,618,898 times
Reputation: 743


When Multnomah County received $17.7 million in federal funding on Thursday, this bridge's fate was officially sealed as construction on its replacement began almost immediately.

One of three bridges born of a $4.2 million local bond issued in the early 1920s, the Sellwood Bridge was built on the cheap ($512,000) following public outcry after the opening of two other far more expensive bridges (Burnside and Ross Island). The budget Sellwood Bridge opened in 1925 and used recycled materials from the original 1894 Burnside Bridge. From day one, it couldn't be considered a show pony by any stretch of the imagination but managed to do the job well enough. Sub-par construction, heavy traffic and erosion at the west end have taken their toll on the structure and in its latest inspection, it received a sufficiency rating of 2 out of 100. To put that into perspective, the Minneapolis I-35W bridge that collapsed had a score of 52.

While it may not have had an exceptional life, the Sellwood has been the location of some memorable and tragic moments, the most recent of which occurred several years ago when a mentally unstable mother threw both of her young children from the bridge into the icy river below. The eldest survived while the other did not.

Daytime photos will come sooner rather than later but at the moment, please enjoy what I've managed to achieve. Comments and criticisms are always welcome.

The tri-pod's shadow is visible here, something I failed to think of.

The upper sign is critical...the lower one is continually ignored.

Art-deco concrete railing.

Out of the dozens of lamp posts dotting the north side of the bridge, only a handful retain these ornamental 'claw-foot' bolt covers. I presume most have been nabbed by vandals and memento-seekers.

This jughandle interchange is also scheduled to be completely revamped with the new bridge.

Dinking around with exposure times...

Come 2015 this scene will look very different. The Staff Jennings building will be gone, the dis-used freight rail line will be a streetcar line and nothing of the current interchange will look the same.

This pedestrian path caught my eye as it too will vanish with the construction.

I couldn't resist. :tomato:

Staff Jennings was a three-generation local boat business that closed in 2008 when the economy slumped and the fourth generation had no interest in continuing the business. The rail line in the middle of frame was originally owned by Southern Pacific and provided freight service to the then-industrial South Waterfront. The line was abandoned in 1984 and saw sporadic vintage trolley service that has since ended. The line will eventually be absorbed into the Portland Streetcar system.

Back on the bridge facing east...

This gantry isn't here to hold signs. It's actually acting a structural brace, another indicator that this bridge is in grave health.

Another shot through the railing with condos and Christmas lights below.

Thanks as always for looking!
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:52 AM
Location: Nutmeg State
1,176 posts, read 2,513,707 times
Reputation: 638
nice shots! I"m pretty excited about the new Sellwood. The bike access and lanes on the bridge are going to be INCREDIBLE!!!

The first time I took my wife over this bridge last year, she was really scared and couldn't believe that it was actually something that was still allowed to be used.

Now if we could just figure out a way to tax the Clackamas people for it........
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