Oregon Public Broadcasting

Multnomah County officials seem ready to scrap an alternate proposal for bike access to the Sellwood Bridge revamp.

balanced-plan_small.jpgOne plan for the Sellwood Bridge shows a balance of pedestrians and bikes on both sides of the bridge. Image courtesy Multnomah County.

The County proposed redrawing the bridge's bike and pedestrian routes to save about $2 million. Bike and pedestrian paths would have moved to the north side of the bridge, instead of running along both sides.

A lane to the bike paths on the west end of the bridge also was on the block. But at a Monday meeting, Portland Mayor Sam Adams stood with bike advocates against the changes.

"We had literally days to review it. They had significantly changed the design after a six-year public planning outreach and community involvement process."

asymm-plan-small_small.jpgAn "asymmetrical" plan for the Sellwood Bridge would have most bike and pedestrian traffic on one side of the bridge. Image courtesy Multnomah County.

But County spokesman Mike Pullen characterized the plan as a trial balloon.

"We like to work with stakeholders. In the planning phase, we can stop the clock and take more time for more public meetings."

But this time, Pullen said, the county deemed it better to stick to the original plan.

And the cost estimate keeps going up. Planners recently revised it to $299 million. Contaminated soil, high steel prices, and the need to beef up retaining walls along Highway 43 are driving up the cost.

County Commissioners will vote on the revamped plan later this week.

Agenda for Thursday's Commission meeting

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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