New 122nd Avenue Bridge nears completion

See the progress, in photos, since our last update of this much anticipated project in Pleasant Valley – near the front gate of Leach Botanical Garden …

In October, workers begin building the concrete forms, and installing reinforcing “rebar”, in the new 122nd Avenue Bridge located in outer East Portland.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

High water flow during the late 2015 Johnson Creek flood damaged the 50-year-old 122nd Avenue Bridge – it spans the creek near the front gates of Leach Botanical Garden – causing the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to close it to cars and trucks starting in early 2016.

It originally seemed that the bridge would remain closed until 2020, but the U.S. Department of Transportation / Federal Highway Administration bridge program funding allowed PBOT to start the $3.4 million project last summer.

>> To read and see pictures of the project’s progress, CLICK HERE.

It took some time for contractors to remove the old bridge and its in-water piers, and then prepare the landings. Contractors followed by installing five massive steel 120-foot-long girders to span the creek in one single summer’s day.

Rebar along the sides will become part of the side railings.

As November begins, a paving machine hovers over the newly-laid concrete deck of the bridge; it was covered with plastic to help it cure properly.

As winter set in, the pace of construction slowed a little, and crews began turning their attention to details – such as installing Portland Water Bureau piping under the bridge deck.

By mid November, the bridge’s deck was completed; however the raised sidewalks were still waiting for their own concrete pour.

In front of these workers is the rebar structure that will soon become the new bridge’s side railings.

“Issues with the water pipe work have slowed the project down a bit in the past few weeks,” conceded PBOT’s Communications Coordinator for Capital Projects, Assets and Maintenance, Hannah Schafer. “One of the final portions of the project will be paving the bridge, and we will need a window of dry weather in order to do that work.”

Work in the bridge continues, as seen in this January 18 photo.

Crews install the decorative paneling on the bridge, and prepare to put on the top hand rails.

Weather permitting, PBOT hopes to open the bridge in late February. “The date is still up in the air, as we wait to see how well the weather cooperates,” Schafer told East Portland News.

When PBOT announces the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the 122nd Avenue Bridge, we’ll post it in our Community Calendar.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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