The public comment period for the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Multnomah County’s Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Project has now closed. This site is available for viewing purposes only and contains information and related documents pertaining to the Supplemental Draft EIS.
The Burnside Bridge is nearly 100 years old and is a major connection between the east and west sides of the Portland-metro area. County engineers say the current bridge would not withstand a magnitude 8+ Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that could hit the Pacific Northwest region at any time. Portland’s aging downtown bridges are not expected to withstand a major earthquake. The Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Project will replace the existing bridge with a new seismically-resilient crossing, so that it can be immediately used after a major earthquake. Located in the heart of downtown and on a regionally established emergency transportation route, it is critical that the Burnside Bridge be standing after a major earthquake. A resilient Burnside Bridge will help our community recover and provide a long-term river crossing that supports our transportation needs for the next century.
Since 2016, Multnomah County and its partners have been studying options to address this crucial need for the region. As part of the federally required National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA process, which looks at the environmental impacts of large infrastructure projects, the project team prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS. This document was published in February 2021 and made available for public comment. Since that time, project leaders analyzed several refinements to the Preferred Alternative considered in the Draft EIS to reduce costs to make the project more likely to be funded and built. In November and December 2021, the project team shared the key cost saving refinements to gather initial feedback from the community.
The project team published a Supplemental Draft EIS April 29, 2022 documenting the changes to the original Preferred Alternative from the Draft EIS. The public was invited to review and comment on the analysis through this online open house during the 45-day comment period, from April 29 through June 13, 2022.