Tilikum Crossing adds capacity to Portland’s transportation system, with better access to important destinations such as Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University, the Central Eastside, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, while reducing traffic on other bridges.
The bridge has two main towers, and the foundation system is comprised of a cluster of 10-foot diameter shafts connected to a pile cap. These towers handle the loads of the cable stay bridge. The bridge bents, numbering two on the east side and two on the west side of the river, are supported on two drilled shafts per bent. These shafts were constructed using a standard oscillator method excavated from grade to depths of 120 feet. The tower foundations consist of eight drilled shafts per foundation, 10 feet in diameter and up to 165 feet in depth. Work was performed from temporary platforms that the general contractor built to hold the oscillator and excavation crane while the rest of the equipment was provided by barge. There were two full-scale load tests performed, one on each tower to confirm shaft capacity and design criteria were met.