Third Bridge - Rivercrossing

The Salem River Crossing is a proposal for a highway bridge between Hope Ave. NW and the Pine/Hickory NE couplet with an on-ramp system and connections to the Salem Parkway and OR-22.

It's a highway bridge, for highway speeds and dust
not for pleasant walking
Here is the general scale and footprint (though in some details this has been superseded).

You can see a very large (12mb) map here of the "Salem Alternative."  Additional notes here.

Currently the "Preferred Alternative," the so-called "Salem Alternative," is in process between draft Environmental Impact Statement and final Environmental Impact Statement.

Current Action - January 2017

On December 5th Council voted 5-2 for the Urban Growth Boundary expansion to fit the bridge and for a set of amendments to the Transportation System Plan for the bridge.

Latest schedule revision
On December 30th, at least two appeals were initiated with the Land Use Board of Appeals. A group of eight Salem residents have filed a notice of intent to appeal, and the state Department of Land Conservation and Development also filed a notice. Later this winter or spring we will be able to see the approaches each appeal will be taking.

Urban Growth Boundary Analysis

Here was an analysis of the Preferred Alternative and the proposed UGB expansion. Councilors who supported the bridge did not engage the critiques in any way. (The list has been updated with new posts.)
Additional Background

Much earlier in the process, the Task Force was deeply split, however, far from agreeing on the bridge alignment.

No Consensus
Additionally, eight out of 18 neighborhood associations voted on resolutions saying "no" to the "Salem Alternative," which is a variation of Alternative 4D. (Three of them repeated opposition on the UGB expansion in October 2016. No neighborhoods were in favor.)

Task Force Assessment, Pro and Con
Here's the official Rivercrossing FAQ.

Whether you think a bridge like this is necessary or a bad idea, it would be the largest infrastructure project in a generation here and therefore should receive exceptional levels of scrutiny.

(All of the significant Breakfast Blog pieces on the bridge are tagged "Rivercrossing - Third Bridge" and can seen here.)

Needless to say, many of us think it's a bad idea. Here's why:*

The Case Against the Highway and Bridge

Modeling and projections for future demand are wrong

For health we should be encouraging active transportation, not passive driving
  • Obesity and diabetes are increasing (national and state reports, also nice summary here at The Atlantic)
In the face of terrible budget crises, we can't afford it
Because they are harmful, cities are taking out elevated highways, not building new ones
* This will be updated from time to time as here and elsewhere more of this is discussed an analyzed.