Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 21st, 2017 at 2:12 pm
We’ve got new details and graphics on Multnomah County’s Burnside Bridge Maintenance Project that will have a big impact on your use of this crucial central city connection.
As we shared last March, the County is spending $20 million to upgrade and repair the bridge surface, railings, sidewalks, steel frame, electrical system, and more. To make it work, they need to store large construction machines and vehicles on the bridge. The work zone takes up nearly half the width of the bridge. That means the seven-lane bridge (which includes two bike lanes) will be pared down to three lanes and two paths that will be shared by everyone who’s not inside an automobile.
Back in March we didn’t have all the details about lane widths and configurations. Now we do: The County put out an update yesterday.
Here’s what to expect:
➤ The work begins Friday January 5th. There will be a full closure for that weekend through Monday January 8th at 5:00 am. This means you need to use a different bridge to cross the river. After that, the County will maintain the three-lane, two-path profile for the duration of the project through December 2019.
➤ The plan is to work on the south side for the first year (as shown in the graphic), then move the construction zone to the north side in year two.
➤ Biking and walking access will be maintained throughout construction.
➤ You should also expect work-zone conditions when you pass under the bridge through Waterfront Park and on NE/SE 3rd, Naito Parkway, and NE/SE 2nd. County says bike/walk access will be maintained except for some detours through Waterfront Park for the several months of 2018.
➤ Instead of having a seven-foot wide sidewalk and a five-foot wide bike lane on the bridge, the County will require non-automobile users to share an eight-foot wide path. The path adjacent to the work zone will be separated from drivers via a concrete “crash railing” and the path opposite the work zone will be the existing sidewalk.
➤ To reduce potential conflicts in the paths, the County will use stencil pavement markings to encourage people to walk on the right and bike on the left.
➤ A new ramp will be installed to allow bike users to leave the north sidewalk at the west end of the bridge (which is often crowded with people).
➤ The County has asked delivery firms that use large bicycles (like B-Line, UPS, and Portland Pedal Power) to avoid the bridge during peak weekday hours.
Asked why they couldn’t provide more space for bikers and walkers during the project, the County said, “Unfortunately, there are limitations to the space available based on where the repairs need to be made, the bridge structure, and the equipment our contractor will use.”
For more about this project, check out BurnsideBridge.org.
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