The Big Pour starts Friday night for about 20 hours


1,700 cubic yards of concrete will be poured for the base of the West Tower for the light rail bridge in the Willamette River

The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge reaches a major milestone this weekend with a 20-hour concrete pour to form the pile cap for the base of the West Tower of the bridge (see PDF image of West Tower construction). Work begins Friday, April 20 at 8 p.m. and continues through Saturday at 4 p.m.

The continuous pour of 1,700 cubic yards will create up to an 18-foot thick concrete base that covers the 6 drilled shafts that support the tower located in the Willamette River. Ross Island Sand & Gravel will be providing the concrete. This is the largest continuous pour for the company in more than 5 years. The pour requires about 180 truckloads of concrete and a crew of about 20. Ken Gambill of Ross Island Sand & Gravel will be on site and available to talk with the media.

How big

The 1,700 cubic yards is equivalent to a 4-inch thick sidewalk that is 3-feet wide and extends 8.7 miles. It weighs about 6.8 million pounds.

How deep

The 6 drilled shafts are 10 feet in diameter and drilled down 150-170 feet.

How tall

The two towers will be 180-feet tall (measured from the top of the pile cap).

Big effort

About 60 people will be working over the 20-hour period.

Jobs created

  • 208 firms are working/have worked on the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project, 74 of which are minority/women-owned and emerging firms (DBEs).
  • 1,329 direct jobs as of April 10, 2012 (491 on-site construction; 863 professional and technical).
  • Of the 491 on-site construction jobs 22 percent are people of color; 5 percent women and 15.8 percent apprentice.
  • In all, $236 million has been spent on the project. Of that, $123 million has been spent on construction.

About the project

The 7.3-mile project is the region’s sixth MAX line to be built and extends from the terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at Portland State University to South Waterfront, Southeast Portland, Milwaukie and Park Avenue in North Clackamas County. The $1.49 billion project will create up to 14,500 jobs and generate $573 million in personal earnings. When it opens in September 2015, it will extend the MAX system to 60 miles.