PBOT’s federal grant bridge challenge record has huge bike community upside

PBOT’s present high precedence record for federal grant funded bridge restore/alternative tasks.

Workers on the Portland Bureau of Transportation, like colleagues at many street companies across the area, are feverishly working to get tasks lined up for potential funding from President Joe Biden’s just lately handed Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act (IIJA).

“We’re taking a look at full sidewalks, doubtlessly a multi-use path on the east facet, to serve the Columbia Slough path.”
— Zef Wagner, PBOT

At a gathering of the town’s Freight Advisory Committee Thursday, PBOT Transportation Planner Zef Wagner shared a listing of six bridges which have been placed on a precedence record for attainable grant funding. PBOT is eyeing the $12.5 billion bridge restore and alternative program within the IIJA. Whereas the presentation was aimed toward freight advocates, all of the bridges in query supply essential connections within the bike community and would very possible be reconstructed with new bikeways.

To decide on potential funding candidates, PBOT used a range course of that checked out elements together with freight community connectivity, road classification, basic situation, catastrophe resiliency, and so forth. The bridges on the record are possible acquainted to veteran riders. They embrace (from north to south): N Lombard Avenue viaduct over railroad at Terminal Highway; N Portland Rd over Columbia Slough; Columbia Blvd over N Portland Highway and railroad; NE thirty third Ave over Columbia Blvd; N Interstate Ave/Larrabee flyover; and NE twelfth Ave over I-84.

Right here’s a short abstract of every challenge with visuals taken from Wagner’s presentation:

N Lombard/Burgard Rd Viaduct over railroad at Terminal Highway

It is a key route for bicycling between St. Johns and Kelley Level Park and different items of the 40-Mile Loop. Wagner stated they’ve scoped a rebuild at about $10 million and that, “This bridge might be probably the most ripe one for infrastructure invoice funding if that comes by way of.”

N Portland Rd over Columbia Slough

That is an ODOT bridge on a PBOT-controlled street (vestige of a previous jurisdictional switch of what was a state freeway). It’s a key bridge for freight vans, however weight limits imply many permits get denied. ODOT has prioritized this and it’s very more likely to get funded quickly. If/when it does, there’d be a negotiation between PBOT and ODOT to switch it to the town.

At present this bridge has no biking area and could be very irritating to journey on. When the adjoining Slough bike path is closed, it could be fantastic to good have a bikeway on this bridge. If we may join a secure bikeway right here, it could assist create an essential lively transportation hyperlink to vastly underserved residential areas north and south of Columbia Blvd. Wagner stated the brand new bridge would have wider lanes for vans, but additionally, “We’re taking a look at full sidewalks, doubtlessly a multi-use path on the east facet, to serve the Columbia Slough path.”

Columbia Blvd over N Portland Highway and the railroad “reduce”

These two bridges are outdated and in very unhealthy situation. They’re additionally the one PBOT-owned crossing of “the reduce” and can possible not survive a serious catastrophe. “If there was an earthquake or simply different weather-related failures St Johns will turn into remoted,” Wagner defined. “Columbia Blvd makes probably the most sense as an escape route, so we’re actually pushing for this.”

Bikeway potential is unclear at this level, but it surely’s price noting that these crossings are only a few yards from the tip of the Peninsula Crossing Path multi-use path. If PBOT may combine a motorbike path on new bridges, they could be capable to join it to close by residential streets and George Center College.

NE thirty third Ave over Columbia Blvd

It is a sophisticated bridge advanced that PBOT has been eyeing to switch and reconfigure for years. We reported on one attainable new alignment that was being thought of in PBOT’s Columbia Lombard Mobility Plan, however sadly a developer has just lately constructed a five-story constructing proper the place that potential alignment would have gone (since no formal planning had taken place, the builders had no obligation to contemplate it). This bridge is essential for the bike community, because it gives a hyperlink between neighborhood greenways south of Columbia Blvd and the favored Marine Drive bikeway. Wagner stated PBOT is having a look at new potential alignments.

N Interstate Ave/Larrabee flyover

Most of you might be accustomed to this location because it’s on one of the crucial well-liked north-south routes within the metropolis. Wagner stated each the flyover and approaching viaduct are weight-restricted. PBOT is contemplating whether or not this whole part of Interstate may very well be redesigned to server everybody higher. This may very well be large for bicycling as a result of, as we have now documented for a few years, the undercrossing is extraordinarily slim and harmful and the excuse PBOT has used for not widening the bike lane right here is due to the bridge helps. If this will get funded, these helps would very possible be moved and we may lastly create a top quality bikeway right here

NE twelfth Ave over I-84

A few of you’ll recall the contentious course of to make higher bike lanes on this bridge again in 2011. Now with the Blumenauer Crossing imminent, twelfth feels much less essential. However it should nonetheless be an essential connection, particularly given the way it hyperlinks to present bike routes and Benson Excessive College. Top quality protected bike lanes needs to be a foregone conclusion if this outdated bridge is changed.

Wagner stated PBOT would want about $500,000 to do the requisite planning work to get all these tasks as much as “shovel-ready” standing and compete for grant funding. Earlier than PBOT may even apply for federal funding for the tasks, Metropolis Council must undertake a decision permitting them to take action. PBOT’s job now’s to finish the due diligence, outreach, and planning wanted to succeed in that time.

On the finish of the dialogue, PBOT Sources Supervisor Mark Lear provided a actuality verify when it comes to how a lot funding can be obtainable for these tasks. Given how the federal funding formulation work (primarily based on metropolis inhabitants), he estimated Portland would obtain about $20-25 million.