Deputy Federal Highway Administrator David Kim recently joined with Oregon officials, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Matt Garrett, director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, to dedicate Portland’s new Sellwood Bridge.
The project cost $319 million -- $38 million paid for with federal funds, including $17.7 million in a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant.
The new bridge uses the latest engineering techniques to be ready for any seismic event. With this technology, the bridge should remain intact even if there were an earthquake as big as the largest one in the past 1,000 years.
“Investing in our nation’s infrastructure helps strengthen our economy and ensure the safety of the traveling public on aging roads and bridges,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “By reducing congestion and improving access for pedestrians and bicyclists, this new bridge will help to invigorate Portland’s local economy and improve the quality of life for area residents.”
The bridge officially opened to traffic on Tuesday and replaces another bridge that was 91 years old. The old bridge could no longer handle the increasing volume of traffic that travels across the bridge regularly.
“The original Sellwood Bridge did an outstanding job for this community, and the new one is ready to continue that tradition,” Kim said. “It perfectly illustrates the importance of transportation investments that help to ensure the safety of Portlanders for generations to come.”