This Week in the Mercury

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Become A Bridge Nerd With Me

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 5:37 PM

I won't lie, I'm a little surprised more people haven't reported on the ongoing problems with the Morrison Bridge. It's the city's busiest non-highway span over the Willamette, and a lot of money was recently spent to add a new, purportedly safer deck.

But, as we've seen, there are huge problems with that $4.2 million-worth of work, and there's a chance the Morrison might have to be re-decked. Again. It's also become apparent there were indications things would play out like this. As I reported in this week's paper, a study found the decking Multnomah County used on the bridge was prone to flaws years before the Morrison project started.

But Multnomah County staff hadn't heard of the study and the company that supplied the decking— ZellComp, Inc.— was in no rush to tell them. Here's an exchange from a July deposition of Ken Huntley, a senior county bridge engineer who managed the project:


I think this is interesting and important and could potentially amount to a big waste of taxpayer money (Multnomah County has protections in place to prevent that, but the fate of an ongoing lawsuit will ultimately decide). Maybe I'm the only one. But if you want to check out the deposition, here it is [PDF].

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