Southbound lanes of I-5 Bridge to close overnight Saturday

By Eric Florip, Columbian transportation & environment reporter

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Ongoing repairs to the Interstate 5 Bridge will prompt an all-night closure of the span’s southbound side late Saturday into Sunday morning.

Oregon Department of Transportation crews are fixing two of the structure’s rollers that guide massive counterweights up and down during a bridge lift. Workers first discovered last month that the faulty rollers had detached from their track on the southbound side of the bridge. Efforts to fix the problem have caused multiple lifts and closures for the past few weeks.

This weekend, ODOT will close the southbound span while crews adjust the concrete blocks atop one of the counterweights as part of the repair. The closure will last from 11 p.m. Saturday to no later than 7:30 a.m. Sunday, according to ODOT. Drivers hoping to cross the Columbia River from Vancouver will have to take Interstate 205 instead.

There will be other closures on the freeway this weekend. Portland’s Marquam Bridge, which carries I-5 over the Willamette River, will close both Friday and Saturday nights, according to ODOT. Crews will install a new maintenance catwalk needed to put in signs over the freeway. The lanes will reopen by 7 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday, according to ODOT.

Southbound freeway traffic can use Interstate 405 to get through Portland during the closures.

Neither weekend closure — on the I-5 Bridge or the Marquam Bridge — will affect northbound traffic.