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May 22, 2024


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Built in 1926, the Burnside Bridge rests on 380 tree trucks driven into the mud. It isn't considered seismically safe, so hurry up and enjoy the old bridge because it will be closed in 2027 while a new bridge is built. Construction is expected to take five years.

When finished, the new bridge should be able to withstand the big one, which is, historically, way overdue. The Cascade Subduction Zone is going to get yu.

How could it take five years to build the new bridge? The current bridge was built a century ago in only two years.

Much has changed since the current Burnside bridge started construction nearly 100 year ago in 1925. The bridge project will require the demolition of not only the portion over the river, but also East & West approaches which like the bridge are built on soil that will not withstand the big one. Also in that 100 years the I-5 freeway was built under the East side bridge approach, as well as ramps to connect to I-84, and the railroad line. There are also the environmental concerns to to protect the river which 100 years ago was an open sewer, and protection of salmon runs.

Prepare for gridlock if you use these freeways

Really? You don't understand that everything about the government takes longer now? They must go through a whole planning process and meet all sorts of rules and regulations. Then the new bridge will be three separate bridges to meet the seismic guidelines.

They'll do much more than drive a bunch of tree trunks into the mud. All sorts of things will have to happen to mitigate the base turning into liquid. Remember when the World Series earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989 and all the land that was created by filling in the bay liquified. It's the same idea with bridges across the Willamette.

They could build the bridge faster, but it'd be in the water with the other bridges when the big one hits.

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