It's been in place for 87 years, but the Sellwood Bridge went on the move Saturday.
The entire span of the bridge was moved so that construction on the new bridge can begin. Engineers used 10 sliding jacks, 40 lifting jacks and a central control system to make sure the move went exactly as it should.
The bridge weighs almost 7 million pounds and is nearly 11,000 feet long. It was moved about 66 feet on the west end and 33 feet on the east end onto temporary supports.
It was done at an angle because the new bridge is wider at the west end. Crews will soon begin building the new bridge in the old space.
The project manager says doing it this way reduces the overall project length by about a year, saves upward of $10 million and is safer for those on the job because construction is separate from the traffic flow.
Drivers also shouldn't be concerned about driving across the bridge once it reopens next week.
"The detour bridge is now as strong or stronger than the old bridge," said Ian Cannon, Sellwood Bridge program manager.
Crews said everything remains on schedule for the bridge to reopen by 7 a.m. Jan. 24.
It will then be used for another 2 1/2 years, with the new permanent Sellwood Bridge scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015.
People living in the area can expect the noisiest construction to happen between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Bright lights will also shine in the area for night work.
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