Video shows large cracks in Morrison Bridge


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A YouTube video provided by Multnomah County engineers examining the Morrison Bridge shows pieces of the deck coming loose and large cracks in the beams holding it up.

“We’re going to keep it open as long as we believe it’s safe to do so and we have closed one of its six lanes, which isn’t a good sign,” Mike Pullen, Multnomah County, told KOIN 6 News.

The county closed down the lane directly above the problematic area, but the five other lanes on the bridge remain open for use.

Morrison Bridge remains open to vehicles after video released shows cracks in the bridge deck. January 26, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

KOIN 6 News found out the issues began after the county decided to replace slippery steel grating on the bridge with fiber reinforced polymer panels. The material, which is supposed to be stronger and lighter than steel, is used in buildings and bridges around the country.

Since the bridge project was completed in 2012, the county has periodically closed lanes, and even the whole bridge at times, to make repairs.

“We’re basically just putting band-aids on it until the litigation is resolved and we have a design and funding to completely replace the deck that was installed about three years ago,” Pullen said.

When asked how long the bridge can hold itself up, Pullen responded by saying, “I don’t know, I’m not an engineer, the engineers are evaluating it on a monthly basis.”

County workers are determining whether or not inspections of the bridge need to take place more frequently than just once a month.

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