"Things are different here!"
-- John Kitzhaber,
Governor, State of Oregon
"I expected gridlock. I was never so glad to be wrong. I am so proud of our citizens -- all of our citizens."
-- Royce Pollard
Mayor, City of Vancouver
"Failing to plan is planning to fail."
-- Benjamin Franklin
"Words cannot describe the gratitude we're all feeling at this time. The success of this effort hinged on what the public did. We asked -- and they gave."
-- Don Wagner
Region 1 Manager, ODOT
In Oregon, the 45 MPH construction speed limit on I-5 will be in place and enforced until the contractor is completely finished, sometime in October.
In Washington, obey posted speed limits. Washington State Patrol confirms that they are "back to normal." (Generally 60 MPH, but dropping to 50 MPH close to the bridge.)
High Occupancy Vehicle lanes are no longer being enforced. The HOV lane striping will remain in place for a few days until crews re-stripe to normal lanes.
Amtrak bridge shuttle service is no longer in operation.
C-Tran extended service and park and rides are no longer in operation.
C-Tran will continue to offer free service to its regular routes until Monday, October 6.
Tri-Met's Green, Red and Blue shuttles along I-5 are no longer in operation.
The following closed freeway ramps have now been reopened:
- 5th and Washington Street on-ramp to southbound I-5 (Vancouver)
- Northbound I-5 off-ramp to SR-14 (Vancouver)
- Hayden Island on-ramp to I-5 northbound (Portland)
- Marine Drive on-ramp to I-5 northbound (Portland)
- Everett/Grand on-ramp to I-84 eastbound (Portland)
This was your "One-Stop Source" for the latest on the Interstate Bridge closure. Our hope is that we served you well. Posted here you will find press releases from Clark County's Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) and the Oregon Department of Transportation's Traffic Management Operations Center (TMOC), and as much other information as we could put together.
How Was It?
Great effort was expended collecting empirical data on all aspects of the bridge closure -- traffic counts, backups, commuter decisions, and so on. We're also very interested in hearing from you about your experiences.
Now that the worst is over, please drop us a line! Send us details of how you varied your commute, your mode of travel, how long it took, particular trouble spots, what adjustments you made and how they worked, and anything else you feel like sharing. We'll post a sampling of these messages here, to highlight the heroics of everyone who helped avert what could've been the worst traffic jam in local history.
Closure Period Shortened!
The Oregon Department of Transportation announced that the closure of the northbound span of the Interstate Bridge will likely be reduced to 1 week.
Project engineers caution there is still a risk of weather or mechanical-related delays which may impact the work schedule.
Read The Oregonian's front page story for more details.
Then, consider why this may actually make traffic conditions worse than originally anticipated.
Transit Agency Planning
- Read how C-TRAN plans to help you get where you're going, how to transfer to Tri-Met or MAX, and how to contact C-TRAN for more detailed information.
- Offering both a summary of their plans and a much more detailed operations and mitigation plan, Tri-Met has provided lots of useful information.
Traffic Management Plan
An Executive Summary (Final Draft version, updated 7/16/97) of the I-5 Interstate Bridge Trunnion Repair Project Traffic Management Plan Report is now available for public viewing online. Please note that this document is subject to change. Adoption of the plan is currently anticipated in early July.
A map depicting the Summary of Strategies developed for the Traffic Management Plan is also available for viewing. Be aware that it is a large file, approximately 137K, and will take a brief while to download.
Bridge Closure Hotlines
- Quick Reference Contact Information
- Looking for a little help to relieve congestion? Well, Oregon and Washington departments of transportation, C-Tran, Tri-Met and the cities of Portland and Vancouver have just the prescription to ease your troubles.
- General Information/Commute Information: 1-800-722-6557
- Provides information on the project schedule, roadway changes, Amtrak and bus service, telecommuting and other commute alternatives.
- (Note: Do NOT call Amtrak for tickets. Seating will be free of charge and handled on a "first come-first served" basis. Please call the Hotline with all questions about Amtrak service during the closure.)
- Employer Information (commute assistance) in
- Vancouver, Cay Humphryes at 360-696-4494 Ext.165
Portland, Steven Rath-Morgan at 503-731-8245
Assistance for employers is available through Portland and Vancouver project representatives. They are available for employee or company presentations and can provide information on roadway changes and commute options including Amtrak, bus service, car/vanpooling, shuttles, telecommuting and other alternatives.
- Bicycle Information: 503-823-2925
- The pedestrian/bicycle path on the southbound span of the I-5 bridge will remain open throughout the repairs.
Clark County's Bicycle Advisory Committee has developed a map showing bike routes near the I-5 Bridge in Vancouver, and routes over the bridge to Portland.
The City of Portland's Bicycle Program has placed Bike Route Directions from I-5 Bridge to Portland information on their web site, and also has agreed to field questions regarding commuting via bicycle during this project.
Official Press Releases
September 24, 1997 -- (Washington and) Oregon Thanks You
September 22, 1997 -- Interstate Bridge Reopens
September 15, 1997 -- Motorists Brace for Interstate Bridge Closure
September 11, 1997 -- Countdown Begins to Interstate Bridge Closure
September 11, 1997 -- Traffic "Nerve Center" Ready for Bridge Breakdown
September 11, 1997 -- ODOT, OTA Alert Trucking Industry
September 10, 1997 -- Help Is Just A Phone Call Away
September 9, 1997 -- Officials Concerned about Motorist Complacency
September 4, 1997 -- Interstate Bridge Closure Time Reduced
August 14, 1997 -- Blazers Lead "Corporate Challenge" For Bridge Closure
July 28, 1997 -- Bridge Repair to Affect Commerce
July 17, 1997 -- Oregon, Washington Interstate Connection Restricted
July 14, 1997 -- Amtrak On Board for Interstate Bridge Closure
July 9, 1997 -- C-TRAN Board Lifts Fares
June 18, 1997 -- OTC Briefed on I-5 Bridge Repair Project
June 2, 1997 -- Interstate Bridge Contractor Selected
May 15, 1997 -- Latest Bridge Closure News Available on Web
April 28, 1997 -- Interstate Bridge Repair Slated for this Fall
Who to Contact for More Information
Beginning September 16, 1997, the northbound (east) span of the I-5 Interstate Bridge will be completely closed for up to 3 weeks. The purpose of the closure is to replace an axle-like steel structure, called a trunnion, on the northbound span. The trunnion has pulleys, or a sheave, over which cables run as the bridge is lifted and supports a 700-ton counterweight that offsets the weight of the lift span as it rises. The trunnion is cracked and comes under stress every time the bridge is opened.
Bridge engineers from the Oregon and Washington Departments of Transportation have determined that it is necessary to replace the trunnion shaft this fall in order to ensure the safety of the bridge.
During the closure the southbound span will carry all I-5 traffic in both directions crossing the Columbia River. Traffic congestion during this 3 week closure is expected to be considerable. The Oregon and Washington State Departments of Transportation, in collaboration with jurisdictions on both sides of the river are developing a traffic plan to manage traffic impacts during the closure.
A more detailed Project Summary provides a description of planned work, the reason for the repairs, background on the job, construction impacts, Hayden Island access, and timing of the project.
Current plans call for a movable zipper barrier separating northbound and southbound traffic across the western span of the bridge. This will provide for two southbound lanes and one northbound lane during the morning commute. Around noon, the barrier will be shifted to allow for two northbound lanes and one southbound lane until midnight, thus accomodating the evening commute. To see an enlarged diagram of the AM Lane Configuration on the Washington side, click on the map to the right. Be aware that it is a large file, approximately 387K, and will take a brief while to download.
Data collected during the closure:
The following articles from Northwestern University Infrastructure Technology Institute
provide a technical background on the testing done to uncover problems being addressed with the upcoming repair.
Acoustic Emission Monitoring of North East Trunnion
Shaft on Oregon DOT Bridge 1377A I-5 over the Columbia River, Portland, Oregon by David W. Prine
and Jerome E. Oleksy, Northwestern University, BIRL Industrial Research Laboratory, May 1996.
Acoustic Emission Monitoring of the Trunnion
Shafts on Oregon DOT Bridge # 1377A, I-5 (Interstate) Columbia River Bridge East Lift Span, Portland, Oregon
by David W. Prine, Northwestern University, BIRL Industrial Research Laboratory, Project G-101,
November 30, 1994.
Other interesting data and information:
Presented here is some background information on commuting and the Interstate Bridge, which we hope you will find interesting. Some of these links will take you to sites off this server, and you will need to press your browser's Back button to return to this page.
C-TRAN Plans -- Read how C-TRAN plans to help you get where you're going, how to transfer to Tri-Met or MAX, and how to contact C-TRAN for more detailed information.
North Portland Freight Advisory --
During the past few months, representatives from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) have been working with freight companies to prepare for the Interstate Bridge Repair Project.
Live Images -- Recently captured images taken from downtown Vancouver by local news organizations.
(Courtesy of Spirit of the Northwest, KATU-TV, and NewsChannel8, KGW-TV)
Newspaper Articles --
A growing collection of articles, from The Oregonian (Portland, OR) and The Columbian (Vancouver, WA), related to the bridge closure.
Historical Retrospective --
Excerpts from The Vancouver Columbian, February 14, 1917, September 17, 1982, and
February 11, 1997, and Clark County History, 1990, written by Coleen Bauman and published by the
Fort Vancouver Historical Society of Clark County.
Your Business and the I-5 Bridge --
Tips for businesses courtesy of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.
How to Get Started Telecommuting --
A primer on some of the issues that must be considered when first contemplating telecommuting. Courtesy of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.
Tri-Met's Public Carpool Matching Program --
If you're interested in starting or joining a carpool, but need some help finding the right group of people, Tri-Met can help!
Tri-Met's Employer Transportation Program --
An organized program that a company puts in place to make it easier for employees, clients, and visitors to reach the company's place of business.