PORTLAND Traffic was snarled on Highway 43 around the Sellwood Bridge during the Wednesday morning commute as crews worked on retaining walls on the west side of the highway north of the bridge.
One lane was open in each direction and the traffic signal at the west end of the bridge was turned off while flaggers directed traffic starting at 9 a.m.
Traffic congestion around the Sellwood Bridge on weekdays is pretty much becoming a daily event. This is worse than a normal day, but I don't want to sugarcoat it. We are looking at 2-and-a-half years of additional traffic delays during weekdays until we get the project done in 2016, said Multnomah County Spokesman Mike Pullen.
Officials expected the construction to be complete by 4 p.m., which would have traffic back to normal by the evening commute.
Drivers can avoid traffic headaches by taking the Ross Island Bridge or Southwest Taylors Ferry Road and Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard.
From 12 p.m. Friday to 12 p.m. Saturday, traffic could be backed up on the east end of the bridge from Southwest Tacoma Street to Southwest 6th Avenue during to a series of concrete pours.