SELLWOOD, Ore. -- Blasting has begun for Portland's Sellwood Bridge project and officials warned that the work may be loud at times.

Some of the biggest blasts will be focused on the ground to the north of the bridge on the west side, officials said. That means progress will sound like grinding, drilling and the straining of motors.

Crews have been digging down and hauling out part of the hillside next to Highway 43 to give drivers more room.

The warning siren that goes off before the blast is actually probably louder than the blast, said Multnomah County spokesman Mike Pullen.

The county spokesman knows it will be a nuisance. We re sorry, bear with us. There s probably somewhere between five and 10 nights we're gonna have to do this. We don t know exactly yet, Pullen said.

The closest neighbors live at the Macadam Bay Club, a series of houseboats floating on the Willamette River. One of them is a retired doctor, Pam Turner.

I assume it will happen and I don t know what there is to do about it. We ve been awakened in the middle of the night by boats going by so it s part of living here, she said.

Living on the river has made them tough, although there could be a few surprises.

I am a very sound sleeper, said another neighbor, Loreli Manning. I m not noise sensitive. My husband would probably be flying out of bed!

But for the most part, the closest neighbors seem ready.

Bob Turner is a retired college biology professor.

We ve been awakened in the middle of the night before, and she didn t say that she s been awakened in the night by my snoring, said Pam s husband Turner. Noise in the night will happen.

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