Planning for new ‘earthquake ready’ Burnside Bridge reaches milestone

Now that we’ve got your attention…
(Graphic: Multnomah County)

“I’d like to see a bridge for our future… but it will take visionary leadership from county, and I haven’t seen that yet.”
— Mark Ginsberg, advisory committee member representing The Street Trust

Multnomah County has reached a milestone in their project to make the Burnside Bridge “earthquake ready”. They’ve whittled down a list of 100 options to just two: an “enhanced seismic retrofit” or a full replacement.

The Burnside is a designated “lifeline response route” which means it has special priority when it comes to disaster and long-range resiliency planning. Owned and operated by Multnomah County, the bridge is nearly 100 years old and it shows many signs of age. A separate maintenance project is going on now.

We’ve been watching the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge project from afar until this point. With the options narrowed down, the County will now delve more deeply into each one of them in order to determine the future of the bridge.

Here’s where the process stands today…

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How are the Burnside Bridge construction zone changes treating you?

Dedicated bike lanes on the Burnside Bridge are closed while the County does repairs.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A two-year project to repair and upgrade the Burnside Bridge has started and it’s having an impact on everyone who uses it.

For bicycle users, the changes are mixed: In one direction conditions are much more cramped, in the other, some say it’s actually better than before.

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Major Burnside Bridge construction for next two years: Here’s what to expect

Final cross-section for work zone conditions on Burnside Bridge that begins January 5th and continues for the next two years.
(Graphics: Multnomah County)

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:

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