Design Alternatives Revealed for Portland's Burnside Bridge Replacement

Multnomah County is planning to spend $825 million to replace the Burnside Bridge, which engineers say is unlikely to withstand the force of a large eathquake.

2 minute read

August 6, 2020, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Multnomah County, Oregon is planning and designing a new "earthquake ready" bridge that will span the Willamette River between the east and west of Portland. 

Here's how an article by Andrew Theen summarizes the new Burnside Bridge:

County officials released conceptual designs late Monday for the proposed $825 million Burnside Bridge replacement. Whatever is built, it won’t be a flat structure like the existing bridge, so officials are interested in hearing what people think of the potential options. The replacement bridge will include a support structure above the bridge – like a tower – to make it more seismically sound and allow for fewer support columns in unstable soil.

According to Theen, all of the remaining design concepts for the bridge "resemble an amalgam of some of the city’s other iconic river crossings." 

In a separate article, Jonathan Maus offers an initial look at the bike infrastructure planned for the new bridge, offering this summary of what people on bikes should expect of the new bridge:

Currently the bridge offers only minimal physical separation from other users via small plastic wands. The new bridge would have a much more substantial buffer. And as it stands today, the bridge has no visual obstructions while the new bridge would block views of downtown and the eastside.

"Timing-wise, this project is still in its environmental review phase and the County plans to release a draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review early next year. If all goes according to plan construction would begin in 2024," adds Maus. 

According to Theen, the county is expected to settle on a chosen design next year.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 in The Oregonian

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