County seeks feedback on future Burnside Bridge design

Cross section for replacement alternatives.

Cross section proposals.

Alternative #3 would replace existing Couch Street curve with a new ramp.

Multnomah County has released an online open house survey and needs your help to design a new Burnside Bridge. Their effort to create a new bridge that can withstand a major earthquake is currently in the environmental review stage. The review is focused on four options that have been whittled down from 100 that were studied since the project began in 2016.

The survey asks for feedback on several elements of the project including: the bridge design alternatives, the bridge cross-section, how to manage traffic during construction and the criteria to evaluate alternatives.

Three of the four remaining bridge designs (one of which they’re recommending to drop from consideration) would make the bridge wider in order to, “accommodate more space for bikes, pedestrians and transit.” Alternative #3 would “smooth out” the infamous Couch Street curve.


If the bridge is replaced (versus retrofitting the existing one) the cross-section would be about nine feet wider. In their current designs, the County would use that extra width to widen the bike lanes (to eight feet) and other vehicle lanes. They also show a concrete barrier that would separate the bike lane from the other lanes.

Take a look at the options and please consider sharing your comments. The open house and survey will be up through October 4th.

In related news… while the County won’t begin construction of this project until 2024, the City of Portland already has plans to move forward on a bus lane project on the Burnside Bridge as part of the Central City in Motion plan. That project would create a bus-only lane for three TriMet bus lines and widen the bike lanes in both directions, “opening the possibility of providing protected bike lanes.”

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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