Seismic stability problems with the Burnside Bridge

Multnomah County
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A meeting later on Monday will address the seismic stability problems with the Burnside Bridge — and the options being considered to fix it.

One of the greatest worries people have when the “Big One” hits is they could be stuck on the west side of Portland while their loved ones are on the east side.

So, officials from the task force for Earthquake Ready are working to find solutions to ensure there’s at least one bridge that can withstand a major quake.

The Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge project is studying four build options that would create a resilient lifeline crossing over the Willamette River in the event of a major earthquake. 

“We have to have some study, get some input from the community to see if- do we really wanna spend that money for this temporary thing to help us get where we’re going or can we kinda all squeeze in a little bit more on the other bridges to get by for four years,” Mike Pullen said. 

During Monday’s meeting, the task force provided input on the environmental review and recommend a preferred alternative in 2020. Members decided to study the impact of a smaller, temporary bridge, allowing up to three lanes that would be built quicker and cheaper.

The county will decide on a final option for the permanent bridge by the end of 2020.

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