The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is installing a new protective screening and new bridge railings on the SE Washington Street bridge over Interstate 205. Bridge screens are protective fences that improve safety on highways by preventing fallen and thrown objects from hitting vehicles passing below. This work is part of a larger project that includes installing new protective screening on twelve bridges over ODOT highways in the Portland area and new railings on four of the twelve bridges.
Crews began work in April and have completed work on SE Washington Street’s southern bridge railing. They removed the see-through three-bar steel bridge railing and replaced it with a solid concrete barrier topped with a single see-through steel rail. Work has now shifted to the other side of the street. Crews are actively replacing the railing on the northern portion of the overpass. Then workers will begin attaching screens extending several feet above the barrier on both sides of the overpass.
Crews will block one traffic lane adjacent to the work area during construction. Planners expect work to continue for two months and reduce automotive throughput to three lanes from four. ODOT cautions that the project schedule is subject to change. However, work is currently on schedule.
The twin overpass on SE Stark Street is not one of the twelve bridges selected for ODOT improvements at this time. However, it utilizes the older design that State transportation engineers are now replacing. Future funding will likely pay for upgrades to the SE Stark Street overpass, similar to what crews are installing on SE Washington Street.
Although these changes will have minimal impact on users of the overpass, future upgrades coming to the SE Stark Washington Streets couplet will improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. Look for this current work to continue into summer and use caution while driving on SE Washington. Expect more road work next year along both SE Stark and Washington Streets.