This information relates to the new Sauvie Island Bridge that opened in 2008.

A funding decision announced July 24, 2002 by the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) will allow Multnomah County’s most critical transportation project to take a big step forward. The progress is possible due to state funds awarded to the Broadway Bridge project. During a meeting in Salem the OTC allocated $2.4 million from the 2002 Oregon Transportation Investment Act (OTIA II) to the county’s Broadway Bridge Rehabilitation, Phases 4/5/6/7 which begins in April 2003. The allocation to the Broadway project will allow the county to reallocate $2.4 million in county funds for design and environmental work for a new Sauvie Island bridge.

County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey, whose district includes Sauvie Island, thanked the OTC for allocating additional funds. “We appreciate the support that ODOT Director Bruce Warner and members of the Oregon Transportation Commission showed for our local priorities. This is a great example of local and state governments working together to meet the most urgent transportation needs of Oregonians. It will also help us to secure additional federal funds for pre-construction work.”

Also on July 24th, U.S. Senator Gordon Smith called Commissioner Rojo de Steffey with news that the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation reported out legislation which contains $3 million in federal funding for the new Sauvie Island bridge. Senator Smith had designated the project as one of his top appropriations priorities. “Both Senator Smith and Senator Ron Wyden worked tirelessly to obtain this appropriation from the subcommittee,” said Commissioner Rojo de Steffey. “They are very optimistic that it will be approved by the full Senate later this year. The entire County Board joins me in thanking them for their outstanding teamwork on behalf of all the residents of Multnomah County.”

On July 25th, Commissioner Rojo de Steffey and Senator Smith's State Director Kerry Tymchuk met on Sauvie Island to announce the news of the funding to residents and other bridge users.

On June 6, 2002 the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to accept a staff recommendation to build a new Sauvie Island bridge adjacent to the only existing bridge to the island. A new bridge will cost $33 - $37 million and could require up to six years to complete, depending on when funding becomes available. "Replacing the Sauvie Island Bridge is my top priority and a high priority for Multnomah County," said Commissioner Rojo de Steffey. "Today's decision will allow us to move ahead in working with our local, state and federal partners to secure funds to build a new bridge."

A Tier I Bridge Siting Study (BSS)* was conducted to identify, develop and evaluate potential bridge crossing corridors between Sauvie Island and the mainland. The existing bridge to the island was built in 1950 and has reached the end of its service life. Repairs on the bridge have stabilized cracks found after an inspection last December. The bridge is also functionally obsolete because it does not meet current design standards. The study was the first of many steps that must be taken before a new bridge is built. The study's objectives were to identify possible corridors for a new bridge; research advantages, disadvantages, and significant issues for each corridor; develop conceptual bridge designs and planning level cost estimates to build each alternative. Using the study results, county staff have recommended that a new Sauvie Island bridge be built adjacent to the existing bridge.

According to county engineers, a new bridge would have two travel lanes 12-feet wide, two bike lanes/shoulders 6-feet wide, and two sidewalks 6-feet wide. It would be built to current seismic codes and would have a maximum grade of 6% (slightly less steep than current bridge). Depending on the location, a new bridge could require a signalized intersection at Highway 30 (such as the existing bridge), or a grade-separated interchange.

If you have a comment or question about the new Sauvie Island Bridge or the siting study, Multnomah County wants to hear from you. You may contact Mike Pullen, Public Affairs Office by phone at (503) 988-6804 or by email at mike.j.pullen@co.multnomah.or.us.