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Multnomah County is recruiting volunteers for a group that will give feedback on aesthetic components of the bridge.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Multnomah County is recruiting people for a group that will provide input on the appearance of the planned earthquake-ready Burnside Bridge.Multnomah County is asking people to apply to be part of a group that will provide input on the appearance of the planned earthquake-ready Burnside Bridge.

The county has been working for years on a project to build a bridge across the Willamette River in downtown Portland that could withstand a major Cascadian Subduction Zone earthquake.

The environmental review phase of the project is wrapping up and heading toward the final design phase. The county will use input from a new community design advisory group to review and refine details of the previously selected long span bridge design before the project heads to construction.

The group, which will be made up of about 20 community volunteers, will give the project team feedback on aesthetic aspects of the bridge design, including colors, material, lighting and the shape of certain features, county officials said earlier this month.

The application period will close on Sunday, Dec. 4. People can apply online at Burnsidebridge.org.

Applicants will be selected in January. County officials will review applications and select people based on their background, experience with subject matter and organizations or communities they represent to ensure the group reflects a diverse range of interests.

The group will meet bi-monthly for two hours starting in 2023 through 2024.

The project is estimated to cost $895 million. The county plans to contribute about $300 million through its vehicle registration fee. To make up the difference, the county has pursued multiple federal grants this year, including those made available from the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law last year.

In March, the county board approved three alternative design measures, which cut the estimated cost by more than $200 million.

A public comment period on the project's federally required supplemental draft environmental impact statement, which incorporated the cost-saving measures, concluded in June.

The Federal Highway Administration will be asked to approve the Final Environmental Impact Statement in late 2022.

Construction is expected to start in 2025.


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