PORTLAND – Crews in Southwest Portland have reached a major milestone in the $35 million project to replace viaducts north of the Terwilliger Curves.
Northbound traffic was shifted onto the new permanent bridge at Iowa Street early Tuesday.
“The changeover represents a major milestone in the $35 million project to replace the deteriorating 55-year-old viaducts at milepost 298, just north of the Terwilliger Curves,” said Don Hamilton, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation. “The new viaducts will meet today’s roadway and seismic standards with wider shoulders, wider center medians and new retaining walls.”
He explained that southbound traffic will remain on the temporary bridge while crews build a new permanent southbound bridge.
The project is scheduled for completion by mid-2014. It was created in an effort to strengthen the span of I-5 traveled by about 145,000 vehicles every day. The new bridges were also designed to better withstand a powerful earthquake, if one were to hit in the Portland area.
After the bridges are completed, crews will re-landscape the area beneath them and add a network of hiking trails.