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New concept drawings show future bikeway on new Burnside Bridge

Posted by on August 5th, 2020 at 10:34 am

Possible design of new Burnside Bridge.

On Monday Multnomah County gave us our best view yet of what the biking might feel like on the new Burnside Bridge.

As we’ve been reporting, the planning process for the “earthquake ready” bridge is slowly but surely marching along. This week the County released a survey to garner public feedback on the bridge design and how to manage traffic during construction.

Along with the survey they released a video with concept drawings that show how the new bikeway might look alongside various design options.

Here are a few more stills I pulled from the video:

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As you can see, the experience of cycling over the new Burnside Bridge will be much different than it is today. Currently the bridge offers only minimal physical separation from other users via small plastic wands. The new bridge would have a much more substantial buffer. And as it stands today, the bridge has no visual obstructions while the new bridge would block views of downtown and the eastside.

For reference, the County has said the bicycling lane and adjacent sidewalk will both be 8-feet wide.

And here’s how the bridge itself might look:

Timing-wise, this project is still in its environmental review phase and the County plans to release a draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review early next year. If all goes according to plan construction would begin in 2024.

Learn more from The Oregonian, view the new video and take the design survey here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Jason
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Jason

I like it, put the cars behind bars. 😀

Ben G
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Ben G

It seems like the Burnside Bridge has been worked on continuously for the past few years. Now to only replace it? Maybe we will have a nice functioning bike lane by the year 2030, hah. Joking aside, glad bikes and pedestrians are being considered up front. I like the extensions with a gap to auto traffic, as crossing the Tilikum or Broadway feels like the lowest stress to me. Hopefully the streets to get to the new bridge begin feel the same.

Tom Hardy
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Tom Hardy

I like the cable stay construction. It would be nice if the drawbridge would be like the Morrison bridge though while keeping the bike and ped lanes still behind the barriers.

Champs
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Champs

Images are conceptual designs only and not final

Let’s pray they’re not even close.

Consider the existing bridge. The current design’s open deck doesn’t impede views or look like it’s designed as the gantry for building a cruise ship, and the bascule design fits with many other bridges in PNW port cities. What’s the rationale for hulking towers in the middle of the Willamette?

Pressed to choose between the two concepts, it’s the Hawthorne-ish through truss. Hard pass on the that cable-stayed mullet.

Mark
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Mark

Why can’t it be similar (and open) like the Morrison Bridge?

qqq
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qqq

I wish they’d released some renderings showing the designs from eye-level of bridge users (walking, biking, and driving). The views from “on” the bridge are all from eye-levels hovering several feet above where anyone will ever experience it, with the last one also hovering several feet out over the water.

Those viewpoints make it feel much more open and spacious than I believe it will actually feel. As one example, the solid guardrails will block views far more from actual eye level than they appear to in the rendering’s hovering eye-levels.

The video doesn’t have any views taken from actual eye level, either. It discusses (starting at 2:55) how the bridge structure will impact views from the bridge, but again illustrates that with eye-levels nobody will ever experience. Ironically, when it discusses the view of the “iconic Portland sign” it illustrates that view from a position hovering above the eastbound lane looking backwards, instead of from a a real viewpoint.

The video seems well done overall, but given that people are basing decisions on a $$$$$ project, the project should be giving people views of it the way it will actually be experienced. Same goes for views from the east and west banks–show some from eye level from actual positions people will see it from.

Terry D-M
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Terry D-M

Hopefully PBOT takes the opportunity while the Bridge is under construction to repave and road diet East Burnside to and through Montavilla. That way when it reopens the new bridge will have a high end commuter protected Bikeway feeding into it.

Allan Rudwick
Subscriber

We need to have good ‘ride left’ signage if we are going to replicate the Tillikum bike path. That way passing bikes can temporarily share the pedestrian space. Otherwise we’ll have the same mess we have down south

Johnny Bye Carter
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Johnny Bye Carter

Another bridge to cross off my list of routes I’m able to take with friends that fear heights visible through short railings, or railings so short you can fall over them from a bike. And forget about the person who already fears bridges.

At least it’s only a short walk across. We’ve still got the Morrison and Sellwood to ride over.

I love riding over the Tilikum, Hawthorne, Steel, and Broadway but there are a lot of people who get freaked out by their various designs.

We should be able to make infrastructure appealing to the eye and have it feel safe to all users.

was carless
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was carless

Proving time and time again that the United States has teh absolute worst bridge designers.
These are are awful designs. Overly busy and confusing. Apparently someone wants a tall “iconic” bridge element without understanding what makes a bridge iconic. These designs are reminiscent of the damn London Wedding Cake Bridge.

I would prefer a nice clean, flat wide lift bridge with well thought out and crafted details on the bridge.

Peter W
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Peter W

They all seem so bulky. Like something out of a dystopian Blade Runner future. Maybe that’s just the rendering though.

Slabtownie
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Slabtownie

The truss gets my vote

Lenny
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Lenny

The real question, will this path be covered in broken glass to match the old bridge?