Sauvie Island cracks

Multnomah County has completed repairs to the Sauvie Island Bridge that will allow weight limits to be increased to the legal load, effective February 13, 2002. The repairs were completed ahead of schedule. Besides posting the new weight limits, the County has lowered the speed limits on the bridge to 20 mph for motor vehicles and 10 mph for trucks.

The new maximum weight limits are:
2 axle vehicles = 20 tons (40,000 lbs)
3 axle vehicles = 25 tons (50,000 lbs)
5 - 6 axle vehicles = 40 tons (80,000 lbs)
Maximum weight = 40 tons (80,000 lbs)

"As the only road link to the island, the Sauvie Island Bridge is a vital lifeline for commerce and community," said Multnomah County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey. "Completing these repairs on time was a top priority for the county because new weight limits are key to the survival of many businesses on the island. While the new weight limits are good news, these repairs remind us that the bridge is nearing the end of its service life and that we need a new bridge that can support today's heavy trucks."

Rojo de Steffey, whose district includes the island, leads a county team that is working on short and long-term solutions to the bridge problem. The bridge opened in 1950 and was not designed for modern freight loads. "I applaud Commissioner Rojo de Steffey's leadership in the effort for the county, the community and our state and federal elected officials to address this issue," said County Chair Diane Linn. "Commissioner Rojo de Steffey is also working closely with our regional partners to identify interim and long-tern goals to secure funds for replacing the bridge."

A consultant has been hired to identify possible locations for a new bridge. A community workshop was held at the Sauvie Island School on Tuesday, March 12, 2002. Presentations were given on the design process and possible locations for a new bridge. The public was given the opportunity to comment on each location and make additional recommendations.