TriMet begins building Portland-Milwaukie light rail bridge

America’s largest car-less commuting bridge Portland-Milwaukie light rail bridge  continues to take shape over the Willamette River, with crews pouring the first concrete deck segment on Wednesday.

The cable-stayed span, which will carry the Portland-Milwaukie light rail line, requires 78 concrete segments connecting Portland’s South Waterfront to the east bank near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

“It’s a dance,” said TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch, describing the process of balancing deck segments one at a time on each side of the west towers.

Using balance cantilever construction, the segment cast on the west side of the tower on Wednesday will require a week to cure before crews pour a second opposing section on the east side.

Meanwhile, TriMet announced Wednesday how it will go about naming the first new bridge over the Willamette River in more 40 years.

“The agency fully understands that the naming process will attract a high degree of interest from the regional community, based on historical, geographic/navigational and cultural factors,” the agency said in a news release.

TriMet said it will name a “blue ribbon” committee” to help it “in shepherding the bridge naming process through some kind of public process.”

TriMet’s Customer Information Services Department will also develop a “public information and participation campaign” for the naming project, Fetsch said.

The goal is to have a name selected by the end of 2014.

The 1,720-foot transit bridge will carry MAX trains, streetcars, TriMet buses and bikes. It’s the centerpiece of the $1.5 billion Portland-to-Milwaukie MAX Light Rail line, or Orange Line, scheduled to open in September 2015.

The bridge segments will extend over the water from there, with the two sides of the $134 million bridge eventually meeting in the middle.

Two concrete form travelers have been erected at each end of the west bridge tower. The concrete will have anchors cast into the concrete that will secure the cable stays once installed.

On Wednesday, some 200 tons of concrete was poured to make up the 16-foot long by 75’ wide section of deck.

Once the concrete achieves a specified strength, TriMet said, treated-steel cables will be pulled tight by a jack before the form traveler is moved.

From there, the permanent cable stays will be pulled from the west side of the bridge deck through the bridge tower and reconnected on the east side of the deck. This process will be repeated weekly, the transit agency said.

light rail bridge

Source : Oregon Live

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