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ODOT brings in 'Oscar the Oscillator' to help with seismic upgrades to Abernethy Bridge

The oscillator was built in Germany and shipped to the U.S.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Transportation has brought in a massive oscillator to help with seismic upgrades to the Abernethy Bridge in Clackamas County.

The oscillator, affectionately known as 'Oscar the Oscillator', was built in Germany before being shipped across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal and up the coast to the Port of Tacoma. The oscillator was then put on trucks and driven to Portland.

The oscillator, weighing 200,000 lbs., will be tasked with drilling into the bedrock below the river and sediment to secure the new bridge supports.

When the work is complete, the Abernethy Bridge will be the first earthquake-ready interstate structure across the Willamette River in the Portland metro area. Additionally, the bridge will have three lanes in each direction and an auxiliary lane for drivers entering and exiting I-205.

"I may be skewed in thinking it's a pretty impressive display of construction but I'll leave it to the regular traveler to tell us what they think as they come across the project," Della Mosier, of ODOT, said.

The oscillator will reportedly be finished with its portion of the project by the end of 2024. The end of 2025 is when the entire project should be complete.

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