October 11th, 2011 9:44 am | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: Transportation, Legislature

Why the New Grand Avenue/MLK Viaduct Feels Like a Rollercoaster

mlkMLK Viaduct - ODOT

Drivers using the newly-finished, $95 million Grand Avenue/MLK Boulevard Viaduct in Southeast Portland—two years behind schedule and about three times the cost of the original estimate—may feel a little like they're on a ride at Oaks Park.

The road surface is wavy, and the sections of new sidewalk are visibly out of alignment.

But an Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman says the project is just as engineers intended.

"The roller coaster feel is part of the design," says ODOT's Don Hamilton.

Hamilton said workers completed the bridge in a fashion that leaves the ride for drivers a bit lumpy.

"It’s aimed at preventing cracks as the bridge settles," Hamilton says, adding that process could take 10 to 15 years. "Building it in this fashion should provide for a long life and lower costs maintenance over the long run."
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