The old Sellwood Bridge closes for good tonight: Will you miss it?

The old Sellwood Bridge closes for good tonight: Will you miss it?

Sellwood Bridge from a car-1

The view of the Sellwood Bridge sidewalk from inside a car.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tonight at 7:00 pm the old Sellwood Bridge will close for good. Then for an hour between 7:30 and 8:30 pm Multnomah County will give you one last chance to say goodbye. The question is: Will you shed tears of joy or sorrow?

Five years ago the County broke ground on a project to replace the bridge and they’re mere days away from opening the new one. But before that big celebration happens, tonight is a chance for a final farewell. And for many people it might be their first time to actually stop and appreciate the views from the bridge. That’s because people who cross it on foot or by bike have always been forced to share one narrow sidewalk that’s just a few feet wide. It was annoying and dangerous.

Here are a few photos from our archives…

BTA New Year's Day Ride-17

New Year’s Day morning in 2010 — a rare time when you could take the lane without any stress.
Ride Along with McLeod family-10

I shared a morning commute with the McLeod family in May 2014.
Ride Along with McLeod family-9

It was so narrow one person (behind the pole) had to stop and schooch over.
Sellwood Bridge Groundbreaking -19-19

Dignitaires with a check for $17 million (federal grant) in 2011. In the photo are Multnomah County commissioners (including former Chair Jeff Cogen), USDOT Undersecretary for Policy (and now head of NYCDOT) Polly Trottenberg (far right), and former ODOT Region 1 Director Jason Tell.




Sellwood Bridge Tour with Richard M.-6

Following BTA volunteer Richard Marantz’s wheel in 2007.
sellwoodbridge1

The first time I covered it in 2006.
Tour of Tomorrow

On an event ride in 2007 we took the lane thanks to a police escort.

So out with the old and in with the new!

Here’s more about tonight’s event from SellwoodBridge.org:

On Thursday night February 25, fans of the old Sellwood Bridge will have one last chance to say goodbye. The old bridge will permanently close to traffic that day at 7 pm. From 7:30 – 8:30 pm, residents can walk across the 90-year old bridge one last time to say goodbye. Bring your flashlights, electric candles, and phone lights for this candlelight event. A bagpiper in kilts will lead the gathered friends of the old bridge as we bid it farewell.

Participants should assemble on Grand Avenue off of Spokane street (near the bridge’s north sidewalk) no earlier than 7 pm. The procession starts at 7:30 pm. We’ll have time to walk from east to west and back again. The bridge will need to be cleared by 8:30 pm so that work to set up the new bridge for traffic can begin.

I was hoping to get out there today and grab some interviews and photos but it’s not going to happen. Instead, I’m hoping to capture some of your thoughts here on the blog.

And remember, there’s a big celebration for the new bridge happening Saturday and the new bridge officially opens for regular traffic on March 1st.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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