Multnomah County to seek consultant for cheaper Burnside Bridge plan
Correction: The live webinar is scheduled for 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 1.
A Multnomah County proposal to build a new Burnside Bridge that could withstand a major earthquake is on the table — with more economical modifications than the last version. The existing bridge is not expected to survive a massive quake event.
This proposal comes after previous efforts at funding a new Burnside Bridge failed with the 2020 Regional Transportation Bond Measure, which would have allocated $150 million to the project. Now, the county is seeking ways to reduce the cost of the project, and actively seeking new funding opportunities.
The new economical proposal includes the region's first central city bridge designed for use directly after a major earthquake incident to replace the current 95-year-old Burnside Bridge.
The new proposal would reduce the traffic lanes on the Burnside Bridge from five to four lanes —however, it would widen the paths for bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as install crash-worthy barriers. This width change from the earlier proposal could save up to $150 million, according to Multnomah County officials.
The new proposal also would save costs by using a girder structure, which is a support beam structure, and a bascule movable span, which is a continuously balanced counterweight-movable bridge system. These changes could save an estimated $20 million to $40 million each, according to Multnomah County officials.
An online open house and public survey is open through Tuesday, Dec. 14, at burnsidebridge.participate.online. There is also a live webinar scheduled for 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 1, for interested parties. Learn more on the project's website.
Multnomah County plans to hire a design consultant for the project in 2022, with construction to begin in 2025.
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