Overview

Comment on the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Draft Environmental Impact Statement through March 22, 2021

Multnomah County is leading the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge (EQRB) project to provide rapid and reliable emergency response, rescue and evacuation after a major earthquake, as well as enable post-earthquake economic recovery. In addition to ensuring that the crossing is seismically resilient, the purpose is also to provide a long-term, low-maintenance and safe crossing for all users.

As part of the federally required process by the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, the project team, working with the Federal Highway Administration (the federal lead agency), prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS. The Draft EIS describes the range of alternatives being considered, their impacts, and potential ways to mitigate those impacts. It also recommends a preferred alternative. We are seeking community input on the information in the Draft EIS that will help make project decisions, including the selection of a single preferred alternative to design and build.

You are invited to use this online open house to examine and comment on the analysis presented in the Draft EIS during the 45-day public comment period ending on March 22, 2021.

If you have already reviewed the materials and are ready to submit a comment, you can go straight to the Comment section of this website.

The project team is also taking input on bridge type selection in early 2021. Please visit the Earthquake Ready Burnside type selection web page to provide input on the types of bridges and lift spans under consideration.

Southwest view of the Burnside Bridge over the Willamette River.
The current Burnside Bridge in downtown Portland was completed in 1926.

What is being proposed?

What is being proposed and why? 

The primary purpose of the EQRB Project is to create a seismically resilient Burnside Street lifeline crossing of the Willamette River. The Bridge would remain fully operational and accessible for emergency responders, cars, trucks, buses, bikes and pedestrians immediately following the next Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake. None of the current bridges in downtown Portland are expected to be usable after this type of seismic event.

There are five specific needs the project would address. These include the need for:

  • A Seismically Resilient River Crossing and Lifeline Route
  • Post-Earthquake Emergency Response
  • Post-Earthquake Recovery
  • Emergency Transportation Routes and Seismic Resiliency as Stated in Plan and Policy Directives
  • Long-Term Multimodal Travel Across the River
A map of the project area with a project boundary approximately three blocks in each direction from the river with a footprint for each alternative.
EQRB Project Area
A map of the city of Portland with Regional Emergency Transportation Routes with indications of high to low risk of collapse in the event of a major earthquake. For more information, please call 503-988-5970.
Potential for structure collapse along key emergency transportation routes after a major earthquake.

Draft EIS

Draft EIS 

Links to the complete executive summary and Draft EIS chapters and attachments (A through O) are below.

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Document Library

Technical Report Topics

The Draft EIS summarizes the relevant natural and built environment along with social and cultural resources that would be potentially affected by the project. The document compares both the benefits and impacts that would be expected from the different alternatives and options being studied.

A list of all the technical report topics are shown in the table below. You can access the level of detail that is right for you by following the links to a brief summary, the full technical report, or by referencing the chapter and page number in the Draft EIS.

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TopicSummaryFull technical reportLocation in Draft EIS
Acquisitions and Displacements Summary [.22 MB PDF] Technical report [5.5 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 44
Air Quality Summary [.21 MB PDF] Technical report [1.6 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 227
Climate Change Summary [.22 MB PDF] Technical report [1.8 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 242
Cultural Resources Summary [.21 MB PDF] Technical report [22.3 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 137
Economic Impacts Summary [.13 MB PDF] Technical report [1.3 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 65
Environmental Justice Summary [.22 MB PDF] Technical report [4.3 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 103
Hazardous Materials Summary [ .22 MB PDF] Technical report [34.4 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 231
Hydraulic Impact Analysis Summary [.21 MB PDF] Technical report [43.8 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 180
Land Use Summary [.21 MB PDF] Technical report [7.8 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 55
Noise and Vibration Summary [.21 MB PDF] Technical report [13.8 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 218
Parks and Recreation Summary [.22 MB PDF] Technical report [4.5 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 121
Public Services Summary [.21 MB PDF] Technical report [1.9 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 71
Right-of-Way Summary [.22 MB PDF] Technical report [3.9 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 44
Social/Neighborhood Summary [.21 MB PDF] Technical report [3.9 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 91
Soils and Geology Summary [.21 MB PDF] Technical report [2.9 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 166
Stormwater Summary [.21 MB PDF] Technical report [.87 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 172
Transportation Summary [.22 MB PDF] Technical report [19.0 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 1
Utilities Summary [.22 MB PDF] Technical report [5.5 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 80
Vegetation, Wildlife, and Aquatic Species Summary [.22 MB PDF] Technical report [8.8 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 191
Visual Resources Summary [.44 MB PDF] Technical report [21.9 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 152
Wetlands and Waters Summary [.22 MB PDF] Technical report [5.6 MB PDF] EIS Ch. 3 page number 204

Additional Documents

Comment 

Submit a comment on the Draft EIS

Please provide your comment on the Draft EIS using this form. Comments on the Draft EIS are accepted during a 45-day comment period which will continue through March 22, 2021.

How to submit your comment

Comments on the Draft EIS are accepted through any of these methods through March 22, 2021:

  • Fill out and submit the comment form below.
  • Voicemail: 503-423-3790.
  • Email: burnside-eis@multco.us. You may also submit attachments via email.
  • Postal mail:
    Multnomah County Bridge Services Section
    Burnside Draft EIS
    1403 SE Water Avenue
    Portland, OR 97214
  • Make an appointment to provide public testimony at an in-person hearing on Wednesday, March 3 from 4-6 pm at the Multnomah Building, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd by calling (503) 423-3790 or emailing burnside-eis@multco.us with your name and the best way to contact you.

The project team will review all comments submitted during the public comment period and respond to substantive comments in the Final EIS, expected at the end of 2021. The project team will respond to clarifying questions during the comment period.






More information on the Environmental Review Phase is available on the project website.

Next steps

Thank you

Thank you for engaging with the EQRB project and the Draft EIS! Public input is vital to developing a project that serves the needs of the community.

The project team is also taking input on bridge type selection in early 2021. Please visit the Earthquake Ready Burnside type selection web page to provide input on the bridge types under consideration.

You can always access the latest project news and documents on the project website, burnsidebridge.org.

Schedule

Environmental Review Phase: 2019-2021

Key Milestones:

Summer/Fall 2019

Share information and get input on items to consider in the study

Spring 2020

Issue formal Notice of Intent and get further input on items to consider in the study

Summer 2020

Share findings from the environmental study and ask for community input on the recommended Preferred Alternative

February/March 2021 (we are here)

Publish the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and get community input

Fall 2021

A Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) will respond to DEIS comments and a Record of Decision (ROD) will approve the Preferred Alternative that can then move into the Design Phase

Bridge Type Selection Phase: 2021

Key Milestones:

January/February 2021

Share information and get public input on a range of bridge type options and evaluation criteria

May/June 2021

Get community input on a recommended bridge type

July 2021

Select bridge type

Design Phase: 2022-2024

Construction Phase: 2024-2029