PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Multnomah County commissioners are voting on increasing vehicle registration fees to help fund the “Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Project.”

On Thursday, commissioners voted 5-0 in support of increasing the fee from $19 to $56. A second vote is required, which will take place Dec. 5.

The increase is expected to raise $250 million and would go into effect in January 2021.

County leaders say this is a critical issue and released a simulation that shows the Burnside Bridge crumbling in a major earthquake.

None of the downtown bridges are expected to withstand the kind of 9.0 magnitude Cascadia Zone quake predicted to one day hit the area.

County leaders said they want to make sure the Burnside Bridge can be a lifeline connecting both sides of the river if the big one does hit.

The options for how to make that happen have been narrowed down to:

  • An enhanced seismic retrofit that upgrades the existing bridge.
  • A replacement movable bridge on the same alignment as the existing bridge.
  • A replacement movable bridge that extends NE Couch Street west toward the river, eliminating the sharp curve on the current westbound approach.

Studies will be done on which build option is the best, along with how best to manage traffic impacts during construction.

The bridge project would take eight to 10 years to complete and cost between $550 to $850 million, depending on which option is selected.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(5) comments


How nice, now Multnomah county wants to impose a statewide cash grap to fund a county issue. Money spent in Multnomah County, which will be paid by people in Lincoln Lane Counties (and the rest of the state), and for which Lincoln and Lane Counties will receive Zero benefit. Maybe next year Oregon taxpayers can start paying taxes to fund the California illegal alien support systems?


So the 5 person City council gets too triple the yearly fee for car/ truck registration ?? this is $74.00 per vehicle every 2 years, I for one am getting tired of paying for Everything this city needs or wants or dreams up . Our property taxes have nearly double in 10 years, arts tax ( what a joke ) its a head tax DEQ testing lol which Washington state is stopping, how can this Major amount of money be left up to 5 people to decide we pay ? A 2 car family will pay $154.00 more now. Get ready for sticker shock in Jan 2021 when the registration " fee " is over $300..... wow


Always pick on auto drivers! How about doing away with some of the "feel good" services first. Besides, aren't cars going to be outlawed soon because of their negative ecological and environmental impact? Won't we all soon have to walk or ride bicycles under our wonderful present Oregon political leadership?

David Oregon

Why don't you take that money you have been wasting on the darn train, bicycle spaces and jogger routes and put it to good use, instead of wasting it. It took you this long to decide to do something about a problem that has been known since before your stupid Train fiasco.

Terrell Higgs

So if there is an earthquake and that thing fails, do we get our money back?

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