Since 1926, the Burnside Bridge has served us well. But to take us across the river for another 100 years, it needs an upgrade.

We are taking the lead in making the Burnside Bridge earthquake-ready. When we’re done, we’ll have a bridge that can withstand a major earthquake and remain open to all forms of travel. It will support emergency response, rescue and recovery after the earthquake. And even without a quake, the Burnside Bridge will be a reliable crossing for all users that will last for decades to come.

Oregon is located in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This puts us at risk of a major earthquake that will cause widespread damage to buildings, utilities, roads and bridges.

Burnside Street is a regional lifeline route. After an earthquake or other disaster, a lifeline route allows first responders to get to where they’re needed and help distribute emergency supplies. Afterwards, it remains open to allow the region to recover.

What have we done so far?

In 2015, we completed a 20-year improvement plan for our Willamette River Bridges. This plan placed a high priority on having a Burnside Street river crossing that can withstand a major earthquake.

In 2018, we completed a feasibility study for an earthquake-ready Burnside crossing. We looked at more than 100 river crossing alternatives on the Burnside lifeline route. With the help of community members and technical experts, we narrowed these down to a short list of four options.

What’s happening now?

Environmental review is where we take a good hard look at the remaining options. We look at how hard they are to build, what they cost, how they affect the environment and the community, and of course how well they stand up to an earthquake. We work with the community, technical and policy experts to decide what we should build.  

Environmental review is a long process. But when it’s done, we’ll have chosen a single option that best meets everyone’s needs. Then we’ll be ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work building an Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge. Learn more about environmental review.