The Burnside Bridge in Portland is old and wouldn’t do well in an earthquake. So Multnomah County is looking at replacing or repairing it.
The county wants to know what kind of bridge residents want to see.
County engineers have whittled 100 options down to four. One is to retrofit the existing bridge so it can withstand a large quake. The second option is to replace the bridge with a fixed span that’s taller, so river traffic can go underneath. The third would be a lift bridge. The fourth option would also be liftable, but it would also have an improved off-ramp for large vehicles.
County spokesman Mike Pullen said there are other questions for residents too: “How’s the project going to impact the natural environment in the river? How's it going to impact these historic neighborhoods on the west side of the bridge? How’s it going to impact air pollution or noise pollution?”
The bridge has been designated as a main thoroughfare in the event of a major earthquake.
Current work is being done for maintenance. That’ll last a couple of years, after which a final decision will be made about the bridge’s long-term future.