Engineers begin evaluation of Ore.’s Swan Island bridge damage after tanker cars derailed

Updated Oct 16, 2019
Photo courtesy City of Portland.Photo courtesy City of Portland.

Weeks after two Union Pacific locomotives and three tanker cars full of liquified petroleum gas derailed, damaging several of 89-year-old Swan Island bridge’s support columns, Portland engineers are busy studying the damage and trying to decide how to it, OregonLive reports.

Union Pacific has stopped running trains on an adjacent line, so engineers and contractors can examine and determine the extent of the damage. Dylan Rivera, a transportation bureau spokesman, told the news agency it could be several months before all of the bridge lanes are reopened to traffic.

The bridge is made up of three separate bridge sections, and the middle and oldest section of the bridge, which was built in 1930, suffered the most damage. City engineers have not yet decided whether to build around the damaged support columns or shore them up.

City engineers aren’t sure how long the repairs will take.