Rood Bridge - Sustainable Project Improvement
Replacing Rood Bridge with a more environmentally-friendly concrete bridge was an important project. The old, very narrow wood-timber bridge was built over the Tualatin River in 1948. It incorporated both timber and concrete supports,many of which were located right in the Tualatin River, a common practice then, but not acceptable by today's standards. Only 22 feet wide, it had no shoulders, making it difficult for farm and commercial vehicles to pass one another on the bridge, in addition to posing a safety hazard to bicyclists and pedestrians.
The new bridge was constructed in 2003 at a cost of $3.4 million. It was built five to six feet higher than the old bridge to allow adequate drainage during flood events, and 16 feet wider to provide a safer crossing for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. It was also built to meet today's seismic (earthquake) standards.
The new bridge minimized impact to the flood plain by sending all the storm water first through a series of pipes to a special "water quality" manhole, then through a vegetated water quality facility where sediments and pollutants are removed, then through a wetland area where nature filters the water before it finally flows into the river. This feature adds to the water quality of the Tualatin River. In addition, special boxes were built into the concrete bridge beams to provide housing for bats, a most beneficial insect-devouring mammal.