Five Years Ago: Sellwood Bridge Move

Sellwood Bridge move, Portland, Oregon, Jan. 19, 2013. (Bryan J. Dorr/

On a cold, foggy winter morning, the 88-year old Sellwood Bridge was on the move. On this day five years ago, the Sellwood Bridge shifted downstream thirty feet on the east end and sixty feet on the west end. Sliding the bridge downstream was necessary to create a detour shoofly bridge for traffic during the Sellwood Bridge replacement project.

The aging Sellwood Bridge in southeast Portland was deteriorating rapidly. Concrete rails crumbled. Weight restrictions were in place. There was only one four-foot sidewalk. The traffic lane was only eight feet wide. The west end was on an active landslide that needed several expensive repairs.

In February 2016, the new replacement span opened for traffic. After the new span opened, the old span was disassembled and hauled downstream on barges for scrapping.

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