PBOT to reopen NE 33rd Avenue Bridge over NE Lombard Street by 3 p.m. on Monday, July 31 following repairs to damage from 2021 heat dome

Traffic Advisory
The bridge was closed to fix a cracked concrete support column discovered following the 2021 heat dome
Photograph shows two contrators and a PBOT staff member on scaffolding pumping concrete into formwork under the NE 33rd Avenue Bridge

Photo of concrete being poured into formwork under NE 33rd Avenue Bridge. Photo by PBOT

(July 30, 2023) Structural repairs of the NE 33rd Avenue Bridge are complete and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will reopen the span by 3 p.m. on Monday, July 31, restoring a key corridor in Northeast Portland.

It will be reopened to almost all traffic in all directions, for the first time since 2021.

The bridge, a critical connection over NE Lombard Street with no nearby alternate routes, was partially closed after PBOT engineers observed cracking in the concrete in the bridge’s cross beams during an inspection following the summer 2021 heat dome. On May 12, PBOT crews had to fully close the bridge to all traffic in all directions, so they could lift it and place it on a temporary support structure while they removed the old cracked concrete and replaced it.

During repair work, engineers discovered a damaged railing on the portion of the bridge that connects northbound NE 33rd Avenue travelers to westbound Columbia Boulevard and the farther north section of NE 33rd Avenue. PBOT will repair this damaged railing over the course of several days this fall, once parts become available.

In the interim, large tractor trailers (over 55 feet in length) coming from points south of the bridge that wish to continue north on NE 33rd or head west on Columbia Boulevard will be detoured to 42nd Avenue. The NE 33rd Avenue Bridge will be fully reopened for all other road traffic, including smaller trucks, on Monday afternoon.

Over the past year, PBOT crews have completed construction of a new foundation and temporary support structure to hold up the bridge during repairs. In the final stage of repair, crews jacked the bridge onto this temporary support structure, demolished the cracked concrete, and poured replacement concrete (shown in photo above).

PBOT engineer inspecting the cracking under the NE 33rd Avenue Bridge following the 2021 heat dome

PBOT engineer inspecting the cracking under the NE 33rd Avenue Bridge following the 2021 heat dome

PBOT engineers suspect the record breaking temperatures during the June 2021 heatwave contributed to the cracking on the bridge support. The bridge is over 90 years old and like much of Portland's aging transportation infrastructure, is not resilient against climate change. In addition to this bridge damage, the heat dome caused streets to buckle including sections of N Denver Avenue in the Kenton neighborhood and SE Francis Street in Creston-Kenilworth and required the temporary shutdown of Portland Streetcar which experienced melting power cables.

People riding transit can visit trimet.org/#alerts/ for the latest service impacts and updates.

The PBOT team recognizes that this bridge closure has had significant impacts and would like to thank Portlanders for their patience with this complex repair.

Electronic Message Sign Advises NE 33rd Avenue Paving starts August 1

An electronic sign posted on NE 33rd Avenue near NE Brazee Street at Grant Park advised the public last week that paving work is coming up Aug. 1 through Sept. 15, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Photo by PBOT.

The bridge reopening comes just before upcoming preventive maintenance on the same corridor. PBOT crews will replace the top layer of asphalt on NE 33rd Avenue from NE Brazee Street near Grant Park to NE Liberty Street, just south of NE Lombard. Preventive maintenance projects like this extend the life of the road surface by up to 20 years and prevent potholes from occurring. This is the continuation of work that started in 2022

For more information about this or other maintenance projects, call PBOT maintenance dispatch at 503-823-1700.


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. Learn more at portland.gov/transportation