Earthquake-Ready Burnside Bridge Options

Multnomah County wants your input on four different proposed options to make the Burnside Bridge earthquake-ready.

More than 100 crossing options have been studied during a feasibility study. The project team has proposed that four options advance to the environmental review phase, where their impacts and benefits will be analyzed before one option is chosen.

Mike Pullen, Multnomah County Spokesperson, says the first option would be to take the existing bridge and encase it in enough concrete to seismically retrofit it to withstand a major earthquake. 

The other three options are to replace the Burnside Bridge. One option would be a high fixed bridge where it wouldn't open for ships, similar to the Tilikum and Ross Island bridges, and would be further west than the current bridge.

The other two options would be movable bridges. One being similar to the current bridge with similar end points. The final option would be a movable bridge with an extended westbound approach from NE Couch Street, and would bring Couch Street all the way out almost to the river. Pullen says it would also be a more gentle curve that would be easier for large vehicles.

You can comment on the different options either online through September 30th at or attend two in-person open houses. The first open house is being held on September 13th, from 5 p.m. through 7 p.m. at Mercy Corps, 43 SW Naito Parkway. 

The second open house is on September 25th, from 5 p.m until 7 p.m. at Fair-Headed Dumbbell, 11 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners will vote on the range of options on November 1st, 2018. The option also needs to be approved by the Federal Highway Administration.

Multnomah County is funding the project through the environmental review phase. Additional funds will be needed to design and construct the new bridge. 


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