Fourth lane expected to reopen before Thanksgiving holiday
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(Oct. 28, 2019) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has received approval from Union Pacific Railroad to begin work Nov. 4 on repairs that could allow the bureau to reopen a fourth lane on the North Going Street Bridge before the Thanksgiving holiday.
This would help relieve congestion in a crucial freight corridor before the busy holiday shipping season.
A Union Pacific Railroad derailment on Saturday, Sept. 7 damaged columns that support the bridge, leading PBOT to initially close the bridge entirely, and gradually reopen lanes. Since Sept. 15, three lanes have been open, down from the normal six lanes. The bridge provides the only public access to the Swan Island industrial area, home to about 200 businesses and more than 12,000 jobs. Daimler, UPS and FedEx all have large operations there, generating significant freight traffic for time-sensitive deliveries.
Initial repairs by PBOT crews made the bridge safe enough to open a third travel lane on Sunday Sept. 15, allowing two lanes for westbound travel to Swan Island, with one lane available for eastbound travel.
People who work on Swan Island say that traffic congestion leaving the island continues to be a significant disruption. Numerous businesses have changed work schedules for hundreds of employees to avoid rush-hour congestion. Deliveries have been delayed. People have reported road range incidents and car crashes.
Travel times off the island have been reported to vary widely and unpredictably in the afternoon and early evening hours.
PBOT engineers will continue to look for ways to reduce traffic delays during the lane closures.
Return to six lanes potentially this spring
Planning for permanent repairs to the bridge, including planning for access to Union Pacific's property during construction, is on-going. Permanent repairs would return the bridge to its full three lanes each direction.
Permanent repairs, which would open six total lanes, could potentially be completed this spring.
Stay tuned for further updates
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For more information:
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation