Photo Credit: BEE FILE PHOTO - Imagine yourself enjoying a view like this from your front porch, as sunset approaches - because youre the new owner of the old Sellwood Bridge! This is literally the chance of a lifetime. All the buyer has to do is come up with the money, and figure out how to get the bridge safely to where he or she wants to put it. Time is short. Act now! Many have asked – when the new Sellwood Bridge has been opened – if the old, 1,100-foot-long continuous steel span built in 1925 will be taken down with explosive charges and fireworks.

Multnomah County project spokesman Mike Pullen responded, no, there won’t be a spectacular ending to the old structure.

Instead, Pullen said that Multnomah County has officially put the bridge put up for sale.

“The bridge has been designated a historic resource, which requires it to be made available for historic reuse, before it is removed to make way for the new Sellwood Bridge,” Pullen explained. “So, Multnomah County is accepting proposals to buy the bridge until September 12.”

Should no buyers come forward by the nearing deadline, Pullen said that Plan B is to dismantle the bridge, and recycle most of its materials.

While the county is ready to “wheel-and-deal” to sell the structure – which comes complete with a paved road, sidewalk, and railings, the buyer will need to prove they’re able to:

· Come up with the purchase price;

· Cover the steel structure to contain lead paint;

· Re-use it in a way that preserves the historic resource;

· Have a place to put it; and,

· That they can pay to move it safely.

The county is willing to sell the bridge at a price less than it would otherwise earn from recycling the 88-year-old steel-and-concrete structure  if the buyer keeps it intact, Pullen added. We'd even consider a plan to buy half of it, especially if somebody was going to make it available for public use.

Multnomah County Board of Commissioners Chair Deborah Kafoury confirmed the sale of the bridge to THE BEE. “This is a unique opportunity. We encourage any potential buyers to call us, and we’ll work out an arrangement.”

New bridge construction progresses During our monthly progress report at the worksite for the NEW Sellwood Bridge, Pullen said, “We’re doing pretty well with the project. We will be shifting lanes on Highway 43 by the first of September on the west end of the bridge. The retaining walls are ready to move traffic up against them.”

August 6th was another milestone day for the bridge. A gigantic construction crane was offloading pre-stressed concrete I-beams, and setting them in place on the west side bridge approach. “After today, no more beams will be installed until we replace the final remaining part of the eastside approach later in 2015,” Pullen said.

At the end of the east side “work bridge”, Pullen pointed out a cluster of white PVC tubes protruding from the “angel wings” on the east river pier, Bent 5. “These precisely placed, high-strength steel bolts will fasten the steel arch span to the pier that will the installed this winter.”

According to the construction timetable, they’ll begin installing the steel arches in January.

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