It seems that every time our Client Shuttle starts across the Sellwood Bridge, a nervous voice will come from the back, asking “so… are they any closer to fixing this thing?”
This month there’s a little more to tell you. The design is still changing on the West side interchange, with features being added to reduce cost and improve functionality. (See the diagram above for the current design.) Major engineering hasn’t started yet, but the latest rumor was that they are planning to be crunching numbers in 2010, with construction to begin in 2012.
The most reassuring step involves funding for the project. The current cost is estimated at $330 million, up from $320 million in February. The largest stumbling block at the time was the question of money, which is getting clearer now. Multnomah County, which is responsible for the bridge, has implemented a $19 fee on vehicle registrations that will raise $127 million of the total. Clackamas County, which supplies the vast bulk of traffic across the bridge, is considering an addition to their own vehicle registration of $5-$8, which will contribute about $22 million. $149 million down, $181 million to go.
Here’s a couple links to Oregonian stories about the bridge if you’d like to dig a little deeper…