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Walkway, safety upgrades will close two-lane span at certain points during construction

COURTESY PHOTO: ODOT  - This ODOT photo of the Troutdale Bridge over the Sandy River by Glenn Otto Community Park shows what an improved walkway built of plastic lumber with new metal guardrails will look like when bridge renovations are completed sometime in late May.   Renovations and improvements to the Troutdale Bridge over the Sandy River on the Historic Columbia River Highway could begin as early as next week.

Oregon Department of Transportation crews will replace the pedestrian walkway surface on the two-lane steel-truss span over the Sandy at Glenn Otto Community Park. The project is meant to increase safety for those walking and biking crossing the bridge and upgrade the walkway structure to durable, low-maintenance materials, ODOT officials said.

Work will commence in "mid-February" and is expected to conclude just before Memorial Day in late May.

"We don't have an exact starting date, but the contractor does plan to begin work in February," ODOT spokeswoman Katelyn Jackson said Wednesday, Feb. 12. "You may start to see construction signs installed as early as next week."

At some point, the construction work will require closing the bridge to all motor vehicles. Signed detours will direct travelers around the closure. Cyclists and pedestrians will be able to continue using the bridge during construction, but should be prepared to follow the signed detour route onto the bridge and exercise caution in the work zone.

"The vehicle closure of the bridge is not scheduled to begin immediately after construction starts," Jackson said.

The main work will involve replacing the wooden walkway on the upstream side of the bridge with plastic composite lumber and widen it to accommodate people with disabilities. Plastic lumber has a longer lifespan, reduced maintenance needs and similar appearance to wood, ODOT noted. The wooden guardrail also will be replaced with a metal guardrail that will resemble the original. Additional work includes repairs to small sections of the span, temporary relocation and reinstallation of a small city sewer main that runs below the walkway deck and replacing lighting on the bridge for increased safety. Also, signage and striping changes will be made to the intersection of the Historic Columbia River Highway and Crown Point Highway at the northeast end of the bridge.

Most work will take place during daytime hours, but some may take place at night and generate noise for those working or living in the area, ODOT noted. No businesses or access to recreational areas will close during the project.

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