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PP&R posts detour; Springwater Trail closed from mid-May to replace 1900s railroad span

COURTESY OF PP&R - This Portland Parks and Recreation rendering shows the planned new steel-and-concrete span which will replace an old railroad trestle bridge on the Springwatrer Corridor near S.E. 45th. An upcoming repair-and-replace project will change how Springwater Corridor users get over the water — and how fish swim through, down below.

Portland Parks & Recreation plans to completely replace an original wooden trestle bridge, which once ferried train commuters along the Springwater Division Line in the 1900s, near S.E. 45th Avenue and Johnson Creek Boulevard.

COURTESY OF PP&R - Parks officials say the removal of the old bridges footings from Johnson Creek will improve fish habitat and decrease debris build-up. The current span, known as "Bridge 48", is supported by large concrete footings submerged in Johnson Creek. Officials say these pillars impede fish traffic and accumulate debris.

A new steel-and-concrete crossing with a $2,348,830 price tag will be constructed using money from the $68 million Parks Replacement Bond passed by voters in 2014.

Mark Ross, a Bureau spokesman, says that the dollar amount will cover "hard/soft costs, design, public involvement and communications, project management, construction, permitting, bridge materials and contingencies."

Officials say the Springwater Trail was temporarily closed between S.E.45th and 55th Avenues when construction began in mid-May. A detour route will be in place until the work wraps up in November.


But that's not the only Springwater Trail bridge project this summer. Parks officials are also planning to replace the decking on a 114-foot bridge across Johnson Creek near S.E. Circle Avenue. The western half of that span was replaced with steel in 2006 due to deterioration, but officials say the decking must be replaced with asphalt, because the wood is "slippery, uneven, and has large gaps."

Parts of that bridge, "No. 140", will be salvaged and re-installed by a contractor. Construction will last six to eight weeks after the mid-May start. The trail will be closed between Circle Avenue and 174th Avenue during that work period.

This second project, also funded by the 2014 bond, is priced at $640,000. A detour route is posted.

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