Accept the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge design as defined in the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement and direct further actions
WHEREAS, in April 2015, Multnomah County adopted the Willamette River Bridges Capital Improvement Plan, whereby the Burnside Bridge Seismic Feasibility Study was listed as the highest priority project in the 2015-2019 timeframe; and
WHEREAS, in September 2016, Multnomah County began work on the Burnside Seismic Feasibility Study whose purpose is to create a seismically resilient Burnside Bridge that will remain fully operational and accessible for all modes of transportation immediately following a major earthquake; and
WHEREAS, in May 2017, Multnomah County formed the project Policy Group made up of elected and appointed representatives of jurisdictions and agencies with an interest in the Burnside Bridge, including Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman; and
WHEREAS, In October 2018, a Community Task Force (CTF) comprised of 21 citizens was formed as part of the Environmental Review Phase; and
WHEREAS, On November 1, 2018, on the recommendation of the Policy Group the Board of County Commissioners for Multnomah County passed Resolution No. 2018-104. This resolution adopted the Purpose and Need Statement and Range of alternatives for the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Project and advance for further study in the Environmental Review Phase the No-Build and four Build alternatives of The Feasibility Study Report; and
WHEREAS, on December 19, 2019, Council conditionally approved an ordinance (ORD No. 189814), executing and Intergovernmental Agreement with Multnomah County for the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge project for City staffing services. Through this agreement, both the City and County agreed to participate in the “Project Management Team” (PMT) to oversee and manage the Burnside Bridge Environmental Phase; and
WHEREAS, in June 2020, the CTF recommended the Replacement Long Span Bridge as the preferred alternative bridge design; and
WHEREAS, in June 2020, the CTF recommended that their Preferred Alternative for managing traffic during construction is to fully close the bridge and detour all modes of traffic; and
WHEREAS, the project team conducted an Online Open House and Survey, made available to the public from August 3, 2020 – August 31, 2020. The online open house and survey gave the public an opportunity to learn about the project and provide input on the recommended preferred alternative; and
WHEREAS, in October 2020, the Policy Group voted to recommend the project Preferred Alternative. The Preferred Alternative incudes long-spans for the east and west bridge spans, a lift or bascule for the center movable section of the bridge, full closure of the bridge with no temporary bridge, and provide detour routes for all modes of traffic; and
WHEREAS, As part of the NEPA phase, a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was published for public comment on February 5, 2021. Since the publication of the DEIS, Multnomah County has had to re-evaluate the overall budget for this project, which resulted in changes to scope that were included in the original publication. As a result of budget adjustments, Multnomah County published a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) to reflect these changes; and
WHEREAS, the project team released an online Open House and Public Survey from November 12, 2021 – December 14, 2021 to collect public input for the proposed cost reductions; and
WHEREAS, on December 15, 2021, Council approved an ordinance (ORD No. 190651), amending an Intergovernmental Agreement with Multnomah County for the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge project for City staffing services. Through this agreement, both the City and Country agreed to participate in the SDEIS Phase; and
WHEREAS, the Project Team published the SDEIS on April 29, 2022, and the 45-day public comment period for the SDEIS ended June 13, 2022; and
WHEREAS, The City of Portland project team has reviewed and submitted comments on the SDEIS and has created a work plan of further actions moving towards the Final Environment Impact Statement (FEIS) based on concerns raised during the SDEIS comment period; and
WHEREAS, the City has advanced work to develop concepts to provide an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible ramp connection between the Burnside Bridge and the Eastbank Esplanade, as per Exhibit A, including a preliminary cost for the option to provide water access; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Portland accepts the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge design including the determination of the girder style bridge type for the west span, a bascule for the middle movable span, and four travel lanes with separated pedestrian and bicycle facilities as per Exhibit B; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The City of Portland understands that the bridge width analyzed in the SDEIS is a refined section to reduce costs. The City of Portland requires, as a condition of approval, that EQRB provide for 17’ minimum pedestrian and bicycle facilities to meet project and community needs and align with our modal and climate goals; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, as a condition of approval, the EQRB program shall provide for an ADA accessible ramp connection to the Eastbank Esplanade from both the north and south side of the EQRB. The ramp design shall be advanced from the City’s initial preferred concept currently under study and is subject to further public input, City review and final acceptance; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, City Council accepts the staff report update on progress made toward a ramp connection between Burnside Bridge and the Eastbank Esplanade; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City of Portland asserts its right to continue to comment on and participate in all major decisions in furtherance of the Program; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, this resolution shall not be interpreted as the City of Portland's final input or acceptance on the design and construction of the project; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the EQRB program shall provide for an ADA accessible connection between the EQRB and the Eastbank Esplanade; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the EQRB program shall continue to work to address City of Portland comments through Mitigation Meetings, as per Exhibit C timeline, related to construction mitigation for transportation, particularly pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users.
Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information
- The purpose of this legislation is to accept the refined design alternatives in the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Financial and Budgetary Impacts
This Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge (EQRB) Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) does not amend the budget or change current or future revenue sources. Accepting the report will not have any immediate impact to budgetary appropriations.
The project cost code is T00890, and the grant number is TR000281. There are no additional funding requests at this time.
Community Impacts and Community Involvement
Public engagement activities, led by Multnomah County with support from all of the project partners, included numerous input opportunities in Downtown and inner Southeast Portland. Multiple agency and community partners helped to shape and implement a variety of outreach activities that included:
- Produced multiple fact sheets, email newsletters and regularly updated information on the project web site
- Held 8 diverse community discussion groups
- Received over 1,500 responses to the online survey
- Delivered briefings to nearly 500 recipients
- Provide 6 Language translations of online open house
100% Renewable Goal
It has not been assessed or determined how the action items in the EQRB SDEIS will contribute to the City’s goal of meeting 100 percent of community-wide energy needs with renewable energy by 2050.
It is likely that the EQRB Project will decrease the City’s total energy use by improving walking and biking facilities on the bridge.
636 Time Certain in July 20-21, 2022 Council Agenda
Adopted As Amended
- Former Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty Yea
- Commissioner Mingus Mapps Absent
- Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
- Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
- Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea