February 5, 2021

The public is invited to review and comment on the just-published Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Multnomah County’s Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge project. The comment period extends through Monday, March 22.

The project would ensure our community has at least one downtown Willamette River bridge that can be used after a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. A new Long Span bridge has been recommended as the preferred alternative by the project’s Community Task Force.

A new earthquake ready Burnside Bridge could include a cable supported design.

Multnomah County’s project team analyzed the impacts of the preferred alternative and several other alternatives on the natural and human environment. The DEIS examines the project’s impacts on 22 federally-required topics, ranging from air quality to transportation and economics. The project team also studied the alternatives’ impacts on three additional topics of interest to Multnomah County residents: climate change, equity and public health.

An online open house provides an easy way to access the full DEIS including technical reports, an executive summary, and short summaries of each technical report. Comments can be submitted online at the open house and in the following ways:

  • Voicemail: (503) 423-3790
  • Email: Burnside-EIS@multco.us
  • Postal mail: Burnside Draft EIS, 1403 SE Water Ave, 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

After the DEIS comment period ends, the project team will respond to comments and do further analysis that will be included in the Final EIS to be published this fall. After the Federal Highway Administration issues a Record of Decision approving the Final EIS and the preferred alternative, the project will move on to the design phase. Construction is expected to begin as soon as 2024, pending funding.

Multnomah County maintains the Burnside Bridge and leads the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge project. The Federal Highway Administration is the lead federal agency for the EIS, and the Oregon Department of Transportation is a joint lead agency. For project information including a link to the DEIS open house, visit www.burnsidebridge.org.

A separate online open house is open through February 21 to provide information and gather public input on the range of bridge types and evaluation criteria that will be used to select a bridge type this summer.