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Sep-18-2020 16:20printcomments

Closure of NB Interstate Bridge Over the Columbia Starts at Midnight

The bridge's southbound span will carry all northbound and southbound traffic during the nine-day closure

Portland Interstate Bridge
A look at the bridge towers with falsework, the temporary structures supporting the lift span and counterweights in place.

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Be prepared for nine days of shifting lanes, travel delays and slow traffic on both the north and south sides of the bridge carrying I-5 over the Columbia River.

The nine-day closure of the northbound span of the I-5 Interstate Bridge is set to begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

The closure will bring with it the likelihood of nine days of major congestion throughout the Portland and Vancouver area.

Travelers should be prepared. Consider delaying or shifting trips, taking transit, or working from home or another location if possible. Make a plan and not only will you help your own commute but maybe help reduce congestion for everyone else as well.

I-5 Interstate Bridge Trunnion Replacement

The northbound span is 103 years old and this closure is needed to replace some of those original components. This is early 20th century technology with clanging steel, blaring horns and a system of pulleys and cables that raise and lower the bridge.

These parts perform an essential function in keeping the bridge operating and keeping river traffic moving on the Columbia River.

If drivers change their traveling habits, we can reduce the amount of potential congestion throughout the region. So make your alternate travel plan now, check (and WSDOT alerts in Washington) and feel confident that you can make it to your destination on time.

The Closure Details

Sept. 19-27 nine-day closure of the northbound span

Tonight, Sept. 18, double lane closures begin at 8 p.m. in both directions of I-5 to install the zipper barrier.

During the nine-day closure, northbound and southbound traffic will share the three lanes and sidewalk on the southbound span.

Movable concrete barriers will allow two lanes of traffic in the busiest direction, with two southbound lanes open for the morning commute and two northbound lanes open for the afternoon commute.

The sidewalk on the southbound span will remain open at all times for people walking or riding bicycles. View detour information.

Ramp closures

During the bridge closure, four ramps in the project area will close for traffic control and to ensure a safe work zone:

  • Marine Drive on-ramp to I-5 north in Portland.
  • Hayden Island on-ramp to I-5 north in Portland.
  • I-5 north to SR 14 off-ramp in Vancouver.
  • SR 14/Washington Street on-ramp to I-5 south in Vancouver.
  • Signs will direct travelers to detour routes. Learn more on the project website.

Sept. 27- Oct. 4: Lane closure on I-5 south The left lane on the southbound span will close Sept. 27-Oct. 4 around the clock as crews upgrade the median barrier, remove equipment and wrap up the project.

Other impacts Before and after the closure, travelers should expect occasional night lane closures on I-5, up to 30-minute bridge lifts on the northbound span and nighttime ramp closures between Victory Boulevard in Portland and SR 14 in Vancouver.

Slow down and watch for traffic changes

Be alert: Traffic patterns will be new and unfamiliar. Pay complete attention to your driving. Inattentive drivers are the most common cause of work zone crashes.

Slow down: The speed limit will drop to 40 mph. Expect delays — plan for them — and leave early so you can drive safely through the work zone.

Learn more Go to, the project web site, for maps and detour directions, bike and pedestrian information, travel strategies and other project details. Check for real-time traffic updates in Oregon and in Washington.

Source: Oregon Department of Transportation


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