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  #21  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2009, 7:47 PM
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Sellwood Bridge plan would keep existing footprint
by The Oregonian
Thursday February 05, 2009, 9:36 PM


Brent Wojahn/The Oregonian

A panel of policymakers today is expected to endorse a Sellwood Bridge replacement plan that uses the cracked, 83-year-old bridge's current alignment but forces five families out of their homes.

The decision on a new, $300 million bridge will end more than two years of study and widespread dispute over the route and configuration. Community groups and residents squabbled over whether the old bridge should be renovated, replaced on the existing alignment or built farther north.

At its narrowest point, the new bridge may have only 24 feet of width for vehicles, with one lane in each direction -- the same as the current bridge. However, the new bridge would have more than double that width for bicycles and pedestrians.

A citizen task force spent two years coming up with that solution, in a recommendation Multnomah County Chairman Ted Wheeler called "tremendous work."

The biggest concern with the preferred option was the need to eliminate five condominium units on the east shore of the Willamette River. But all alternatives laid out in a recent environmental study would displace some homes and businesses. The bridge is in a highly developed area and was built over and through a pre-existing office building.

"The reality is that under any plan that we adopt ... we'll displace both residences and businesses," Wheeler said. "That is not something I relish doing. The commitment we have to make to the community is that we'll do everything we can to mitigate the impact on people who'll be displaced."

Serving more than 30,000 cars a day, the Sellwood is the busiest two-lane bridge in the state and the county's highest-priority transportation project.
Policy Advisory Group will vote today

Wheeler, chairman of the 11-member Policy Advisory Group that must approve the plan, said he expects a decision today. The group raised no major objections to the plan outlined by the citizen task force last week.

Catherine Ciarlo, transportation director for Portland Mayor Sam Adams' office, said the mayor supports the task force's recommendation.

"We have heard pretty strongly from the community and stakeholders," Ciarlo said. "A lot of the pieces have fallen into place."

Wheeler would not comment on how he would vote, but along with Adams, four others generally favor the recommendation.

As with many transportation projects, planning has proceeded even though officials don't have the money to pay for the final design or construction.

Wheeler said local cities and counties could be expected to pay $100 million or more.



TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen said one good thing about the task force's proposal is its ability to be built in phases. Half could be built south of the old bridge, for example, giving motorists a safe new crossing. Then when more money becomes available, crews could replace the old bridge with the northern half of the new bridge, he said.

As recently as three months ago, there was no agreement on anything about the Sellwood Bridge -- except that it needed to be replaced and fast. Rumors of its demise circulated for years, but outcry about the bridge became acute in 2004 when the county, observing cracks and sags, placed a weight restriction that banned buses and trucks.

For more than a decade, the Sellwood neighborhood had pushed for Portland, the county, which owns the bridge, and Metro to endorse the Tacoma Main Street Plan. The Tacoma plan calls for the region to use only two through-traffic lanes on the bridge, which is part of Southeast Tacoma Street.

The logic? Why build more than two lanes on a bridge when it leads to two-lane streets on either side. Both would likely become bottlenecks.
Five proposals considered

So when the county wrote an environmental impact statement last year, it evaluated five alternatives -- A through E -- with no more than two lanes for through traffic.

A December public hearing showed a community divided. Dozens of residents of the Riverpark Condominiums and Sellwood Harbor Condominiums supported Alternative E, which would have built a new bridge to the north. But it would have displaced a 48,000-square-foot office building and come close to a historic church building.

Some residents favored a version of Alternative D, the plan that officials are likely to approve today. It creates a new bridge on the existing alignment but doesn't require closing of the bridge for construction.

Jim Larpenteur, who lives in one of the Sellwood Harbor condos that would be removed by the project, said the neighborhood unfairly tarred the E alignment.

"Those who are opposed to the E alignment will pick whatever argument they can make to attack it," Larpenteur said. "I'm disappointed in the neighborhood for taking the position. I kind of feel like I can't fight this."

In coming weeks, Multnomah and Clackamas county boards, the Portland City Council and the Metro Council are all expected to vote on a bridge plan, but Wheeler said he expects them to abide by today's vote.

-- Dylan Rivera; dylanrivera@news.oregonian.com

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/i...lwood_bri.html
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  #22  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2009, 11:06 PM
deasine deasine is offline
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I don't live anywhere near Portland, but is it really necessary to have THAT much space for bike lanes? It looks like there are two lanes of bike lanes per direction according to that article.

To me, it just seems to make more sense to have two traffic lanes, one counterflow lane in the center, and two raised pedestrian/bike corridors (should you decide to use that configuration).
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  #23  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2009, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasine View Post
I don't live anywhere near Portland, but is it really necessary to have THAT much space for bike lanes? It looks like there are two lanes of bike lanes per direction according to that article.

To me, it just seems to make more sense to have two traffic lanes, one counterflow lane in the center, and two raised pedestrian/bike corridors (should you decide to use that configuration).
If you haven't been to Portland and seen the rush hour bike traffic, you wouldn't understand... These photos from bikeportland.org of the intersection near the Broadway Bridge.



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  #24  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2009, 12:00 AM
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Yeah, stand in the middle of any of the sidewalks on the Hawthorne Bridge at rush hour and you'll understand. I stopped walking that way after only 3 days and instead took other routes.

I walk slower than a bike, sigh.
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  #25  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2009, 3:34 AM
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What design was chosen? Please, please NOT box girder.
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  #26  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2009, 4:33 AM
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less room for cars and more room for bikes means less people drive and more people ride.

pretty simple really.

it's 2009, what reasonable city planner would want to add lanes of traffic to improve their city
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  #27  
Old Posted Feb 7, 2009, 8:57 AM
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I'm actually quite pleased with the direction of this project. I'm proud of the neighborhood for standing up to the traffic engineers and auto advocates who call for more auto lanes at all costs. I believe this bridge will get quite a bit of bike traffic in the future. It will provide a connection between the Springwater corridor and the future Willamette Shore trail on the west side. It's the only bridge across the river for miles in either direction.
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  #28  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 12:00 AM
deasine deasine is offline
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Well I know there is a lot of bikes around Portland, but I wouldn't think the Sellwood area has that many. I'm going to pop another question in then: why isn't a pedestrian/cyclists bridge considered?
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  #29  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 2:35 AM
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No offense, but it sounds like you don't know Portland that well. There are bicyclists EVERYWHERE, and especially on the Springwater Trail near Sellwood, which recently opened 3 separate bike/ped only bridges to connect gaps in the trail. Bridging the Willamette is a lot more expensive and the cost can't be justified for bike/ped only.
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  #30  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 2:51 AM
deasine deasine is offline
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Originally Posted by 65MAX View Post
No offense, but it sounds like you don't know Portland that well. There are bicyclists EVERYWHERE, and especially on the Springwater Trail near Sellwood, which recently opened 3 separate bike/ped only bridges to connect gaps in the trail. Bridging the Willamette is a lot more expensive and the cost can't be justified for bike/ped only.
Of course I don't know Portland well, I don't live anywhere near Portland.

I just don't see the point of rebuilding the entire bridge to expand pedestrian/cycling infrastructure when you could build an entire new bridge just for that. Then again, the bridge itself is aging.
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  #31  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 5:41 AM
llamaorama llamaorama is online now
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I noticed some of the designs had trusses beneath the road deck? why couldn't bike and pedestrian lanes be situated inside of this structure, making it narrower and saving the houses, and also shortening the length of the ramps that peds and cyclists would have to climb to cross the bridge?
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  #32  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 7:10 AM
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Of course I don't know Portland well, I don't live anywhere near Portland.

I just don't see the point of rebuilding the entire bridge to expand pedestrian/cycling infrastructure when you could build an entire new bridge just for that. Then again, the bridge itself is aging.
The bridge isn't being rebuilt just for bikes and pedestrians. It's being rebuilt because on a scale of 1-100, the feds rate this bridge a 2. It's way too narrow for today's traffic, its structural capacity has been downgraded so that large trucks and buses can no longer use it, the narrow sidewalk is treacherous for both bikes and pedestrians, there are significant stress cracks and lots of structural deformation, basically it's on its last legs and they want to replace it before something tragic happens. Since it has to be replaced anyway, they are widening the traffic lanes significantly to modern standards, adding a full bike lane on each side for bike commuters, and a generous raised sidewalk for pedestrians as well as younger and recreational bicyclists who aren't comfortable biking close to cars, trucks and buses. The reason the Sellwood Bridge needs such large bike/ped accommodations is because there are MAJOR parks and regional trails on both sides of the river, literally right on the east and west banks where the bridge crosses, which generate huge amounts of bike and pedestrian traffic.

Regarding putting pedestrians and cyclists underneath the traffic lanes, that idea was brought up earlier in the design phase, but was dismissed due to safety concerns. It was thought that putting bikes and pedestrians out of sight of vehicular traffic would attract criminal activity.
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  #33  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 7:10 AM
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^^ the buildings would be razed anyway...
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  #34  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 7:14 AM
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Originally Posted by 65MAX View Post
Bridging the Willamette is a lot more expensive and the cost can't be justified for bike/ped only.
Unless of course you're Eugene, which has more bike/ped only bridges crossing the Willamette than auto bridges.
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  #35  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 9:34 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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^ I lived in Eugene over 5 years ago, and loved all the ped/bike bridges they had across the Willamette. Of course, the Willamette is tiny there! I used to swim across during those hot nasty summers (maybe not such a good idea, but fun)
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  #36  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2009, 11:19 PM
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^ You & your silly rational "logic" You didn't happen to be one of those that rode in tubes with a rope attached to a cooler of beer floating behind?
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  #37  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2009, 2:50 AM
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Wonder if 2012 is still the projected start date for this. BTW we need to have estimated start/finish dates posted in the forum titles so I don't have to go digging!
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  #38  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2010, 3:40 PM
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http://djcoregon.com/news/2010/08/30...bridge-design/


Public votes on Sellwood Bridge design
POSTED: Monday, August 30, 2010 at 04:30 PM PT
BY: Daniel Savickas
Tags: bridges, Sellwood Bridge

A steel tied-arch design was selected in a public vote as the favorite for the replacement Sellwood Bridge. (Photo courtesy of Multnomah County)

The replacement Sellwood Bridge is closer to having a design after a series of votes which let citizens and community groups involved in the project weigh in on the look of the proposed bridge.

With the help of 2,452 online surveys, one third of which were filled out by people living in the Sellwood neighborhood, a 17-member community advisory committee was able to cut its list of prospective designs in half with the overall favorite being a tied-arch design.

Mike Pullen, spokesman for Multnomah County, said before the two separate votes, six bridge designs were being considered for the Sellwood Bridge project, but in both votes three of the bridge types, which happened to be the most expensive, were not scored well among voters.

In the online survey, voters were asked to score the designs from first to sixth place just based on looks. While a tied-arch design received the most first place votes, the girder design received the highest overall rating. In the community advisory vote, which was conducted last night, the steel tied-arch design took first place.

Pullen said the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners should be making the final structure selection by early October.

In the online surveys, voters said that the maintenance of the bridge was the most important criterion when selecting a bridge type, followed by aesthetics and overall cost of the project. Voters also pushed to use any extra money from the project to build a small observation deck on the bridge.

Pullen said the project has also taken major steps in ensuring that it goes off without a hitch. One step is to take a construction manager/general contractor approach to the planning. Pullen said this ensures that the company in charge of building the bridge will also take part in the design aspects of the bridge.

Multnomah County has also hired David Evans and Associates as an owner’s representative on the project. Pullen said that since Multnomah County has never done such a large project, it wants to hire someone who has.

“We get the experience of a firm who has been associated with a project as large as this,” Pullen said. “It gives us more confidence with the project.”

The next step of the project is to have the federal government sign off on the project’s final environmental impact statement, which county officials expect will happen later this month. Upon receiving the OK, the next step is to select a new bridge design and hire a contractor.
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  #39  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2011, 7:03 PM
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Sellwood Bridge design approved by county
POSTED: Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 11:39 AM PT
BY: Sue Vorenberg
Daily Journal of Commerce

Getting people from a wide variety of backgrounds to agree on anything can be a daunting task - but in the case of the design of the new Sellwood Bridge, the struggle appears to have been worth it, according to Multnomah County’s five-member board.

The commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a new deck arch design and cost-saving features for the Sellwood Bridge replacement, and before the vote each one talked about how impressed they were with the community advisory and public stakeholder committees and their efforts.

“I do feel everyone’s involvement has made this a better process,” said Jeff Cogen, board chairman. He added that he thought the discussion led to a safer and less expensive design.

Commissioner Diane McKeel added that she thinks the process - of involving neighborhood groups, businesses, government representatives and advocates for different users such as bicyclists and drivers - should be repeated in the future on any new efforts.

“I feel this has been a model major capital project,” McKeel said. “I think we’re on the right track.”

In mid January the advisory groups recommended several changes. Some features, such as light-rail tracks, were removed; the size of a road cut was reduced; and the bridge was moved closer to the Willamette River near Oregon Route 43.

That dropped the cost of the bridge from $331 million to $290 million, as estimated in 2014 dollars, said Ian Cannon, bridge project manager for the county.

At the meeting, Cannon noted that the $290 million estimate includes design, engineering and all other features for construction.

“It’s a full-blown estimate,” Cannon told the commission. “No other things are anticipated outside of that.”

Only five people commented before the vote, and they were mostly supportive; minor concerns included the project’s impact on local businesses, the tax costs to drivers, and the bridge’s safety features - including some that haven’t been fully worked out yet.

Terry Parker, who lives near the bridge, said he was concerned that the interests of bicyclists and pedestrians played too great a role in the process, especially considering, he added, the notion that they won’t be paying vehicle taxes to pay for it.

“Given the excessive, super-sized sidewalks and bike lanes that allocate more deck space for bicyclists and pedestrians than for cars, the proposed design of a new bridge is basically a bicycle and pedestrian bridge that only replaces the two existing motor vehicle lanes,” he said, reading a prepared statement to the commission.

“More lavish and wasteful spending can be saved,” Parker added. “By narrowing the sidewalks to a reasonable width and eliminating the pedestrian viewpoints, the disproportionate price tag of the project can be reduced still further with little or no impact on alternative transport mobility.”

Another speaker, Diana Richardson, owner of D.J. Richardson Properties LP, raised some personal business concerns to the commission.

The county wants to lease two blocks of her land near the east end of the bridge during the two-year construction process, said Michael Pullen, a spokesman for the county.

“She has some longtime businesses there,” Pullen said. “But our hope is that we can lease those two blocks for equipment staging and other operations. Nothing’s final yet though. The discussion is just beginning.”

Richardson said she was worried that her business tenants, if they moved during construction, would not move back - which is dangerous in the current economic situation.

“If these businesses move away, they will not be returning. That will be a hardship for myself,” Richardson said.

But she added that she plans to develop the area so it will be ready for tenants at the same time that the new bridge opens.

Greg Miller, speaking for Ironworkers Local 29, said the union supported the steel design for the bridge and hoped the project would get several unemployed members back to work.

“The iron workers are a strong workforce in this community, and many are at home today,” Miller said.

Heather Cook, a resident and an advisory committee member, said she was impressed by the openness of the discussion during the design selection process.

She added that she would like to see a stronger commitment to safety features on the bridge, such as bike signals and signs that indicate roadway users are entering a neighborhood.

“I don’t think we can be noncommittal to something such as safety features,” Cook said.

In the next phase of the project, smaller details will be investigated. Those include what railings will look like, what signals will be used and what signs will be added, Pullen said.

Construction could begin as early as July 2012, he added.

The commissioners also unanimously approved a measure to begin property acquisition for the project. The estimated budget for right-of-way is about $35 million, Pullen said.

During the next steps, Cannon said he hopes to reconvene the advisory groups to get further input on various features of the project.

“It’s absolutely our intention to have the (Community Advisory Committee) come back together for that,” he said.

And Commissioner Deborah Kafoury, who represents District 1, where the bridge will be built, said she’s eager to see the project continue to move along.

“This is a great day,” she said before casting her vote. “I’m very excited.”

http://djcoregon.com/news/2011/01/27...ved-by-county/
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  #40  
Old Posted May 18, 2011, 5:20 AM
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http://blog.oregonlive.com/clackamas..._jeopardi.html

Clackamas County vote jeopardizes Sellwood Bridge replacement (election results)

Published: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 8:10 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 9:20 PM

Yuxing Zheng, The Oregonian By Yuxing Zheng, The Oregonian

OREGON CITY -- Clackamas County
voters on Tuesday resoundingly rejected contributing to the cost of replacing the Sellwood Bridge, a decision that could delay the project.

Voter turnout in Clackamas County was about 37 percent.

Partial returns indicated voters rejected the fee 63 to 37 percent. The measure called for Clackamas County residents to pay a $5 annual vehicle registration to help raise the county's $22 million contribution for the $290 million replacement bridge.

Clackamas County commissioners unanimously approved the fee last December before former Oregon City commissioner Dan Holladay and Molalla resident Thomas Eskridge led a petition effort to refer the issue to voters.

"This grassroots effort showed the big money and big unions that they cannot push us around," said a "very ecstatic" Eskridge. "This is a strong statement that people are really concerned about where their money is going. We should not be forced to pay for somebody else's bridge, the same as you should not be forced to pay for your neighbor's roof."

Holladay said he was as happy as a clam in mud.

"Voters sent the message that Clackamas County isn't Portland, and it's time for some fiscal responsibility," Holladay said. "The county commissioners need to figure out how to use the money they have wisely instead of just tossing it around for the next green sustainable project, bikes and bike paths. In Clackamas County, we drive cars."

Clackamas County commissioners took a brief break from interviewing the seven finalists for the board vacancy in order to check the election results shortly after 8 p.m.

"I think it's disappointing," Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard said. "I think we worked hard to get the message out but this is a tough time to raise fees and taxes."

Charlotte Lehan, chairwoman of the board, said the county will not be contributing any money to the project now that voters have rejected the fee. "We don't have any money," she said. "If somehow, Multnomah County won't be able to fix the Sellwood Bridge, that's a huge impact on Clackamas County residents."

Critics questioned why Clackamas County residents should pay for a bridge located in Multnomah County and expressed concern that once a precedent was established, county officials could raise the fee or create new ones.

The failure of the measure leaves the project in jeopardy. Combined with an existing $20 million shortfall in funding, Clackamas County's withdrawal spells a $42 million funding gap.

Multnomah County spokesman Mike Pullen has said the county is not optimistic it could make up another $22 million.

"We cannot replace it if we can't pay for it," Pullen wrote in a recent email to The Oregonian. "Without the $22 million from Clackamas County, the project could be delayed, take longer to complete, or be partially completed."

-- Yuxing Zheng

© 2011 OregonLive.com. All rights reserved.
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