Sunday, November 2, 2014

Earthquake, not Congestion, is our Bridge Problem; Council Work Session Monday

Monday night the 3rd at 5:30pm in Council Chambers, Salem City Council meets for a work session on the Third Bridge.

This is what our "preparedness" looks like

We're nowhere close to being ready in any real way
As N3B points out, despite Salem's role as the capital city, and despite the very large numbers of State employees who live in West Salem and who rely on the bridges for connectivity to critical State offices, ODOT doesn't see the Marion and Center Street bridges as at all critical.

In only the most hypothetical of ways, they are being considered for a seismic retrofit in 30 or 40 years.

Neither bridge is currently reinforced to withstand a large earthquake.

Effectively, they are being ignored.

But a bare-bones retrofit would cost about 10% of a new bridge, an enhanced retrofit maybe 20%.

A bare-bones seismic retrofit doesn't fit on the chart
This is the policy analysis, discussion, and debate we need to be having.

Seattle has way more congestion than Salem will ever have. And the State of Washington is formally moving away from traffic projections that slope up always:

via Washington State Ferries
Transportation Revenue Forecast, October 2014
(Sightline link broken)
Salem and the State of Oregon should follow suit with our own "plateau." We need to turn our attention and analysis from unlikely futures to likely futures: A big earthquake is highly probable, but a lot more auto traffic and congestion is not.

Council meets on Monday at 5:30.

Update, November 16th

ODOT's released a few more relevant reports:

ODOT's new seismic assessment
Yup, we're screwed:

None of Salem's bridges are expected to stand


Anonymous said...

Here's the official WashDOT documentm btw. See p.27 for the graph:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Sightline VMT graphic broken, so updated with link to WashDOT source document.)