New Burnside Bridge Gets State Funding

Portland, Ore. — The Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Project has been granted $20 million in state funding as part of House Bill 5030, which was passed by the Oregon Legislature on June 25. Governor Tina Kotek signed the bill into law on August 4.

House Bill 5030 authorizes the allocation of $453 million in lottery revenue bonds for various projects, including $20 million designated for the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Project. This funding will be used for the construction of the new Burnside Bridge.

Megan Neill, the Project Manager, expressed enthusiasm for the state funding, highlighting its significance in driving the project forward and emphasizing the importance of investing in transportation system resilience.

Currently, none of downtown Portland’s Willamette River bridges are expected to remain functional immediately after a major earthquake. Multnomah County is leading an initiative to replace the existing Burnside Bridge with one capable of withstanding a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake, constituting one of Oregon’s most substantial earthquake resilience projects.

Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson emphasized that the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Project is not solely a bridge but an essential infrastructure investment. The new bridge is intended to serve as a lifeline during times of crisis, facilitating family reunification, access to vital services, and aiding the region’s recovery and rebuilding process in the aftermath of a disaster.

Efforts to secure funding for the project have been successful, with a combined goal of $895 million. The County and local partners have committed $300 million, while grants and funding from different levels of government are being pursued to fully support the project. The County is currently seeking federal grants from the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the project’s Notice of Intent to apply for $447 million from the FY 2023-2024 USDOT Multimodal Projects Discretionary Grant (MPDG) Program has been approved by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.

The $20 million from the Oregon Legislature will also leverage federal funds. In August 2022, the project secured a $5 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability & Equity (RAISE) Planning Grant, marking its first successful federal funding award.

HDR Inc. has been selected as the lead consultant for the Design Phase, and the project team is set to choose a Construction Manager/General Contractor in the upcoming fall.