June 27th, 2013 1:20 pm | Andrea Damewood News | Posted In: Transportation, PDX News

Which of Portland's Bridges are Actually Dangerous?

Hint: It's not the ones over the Columbia River

vista_bridge_from_jefferson_street,_looking_east_(2012)Steve Morgan, Wikimedia Commons

Transportation for America, a Washington DC-based campaign for increased infrastructure spending, has released an impressive web project showing every single bridge in the United States and its condition.

Nationwide, one in nine bridges is structurally deficient, the report says, calling upon government leaders to up spending for such projects.

The project then goes even further, ranking states with the most structurally deficient bridges.

A few facts: Oregon and Washington's spans are actually in relatively good shape. They're seventh and sixth best, respectively of the 50 states and DC, for lowest percentage of bridges that are structurally deficient. 

Transportation for America also lets you search every single bridge in the country, and the ones that need to be replaced right away are red. In Portland, the Steel Bridge and the Vista Bridge, according to the report, are structurally deficient.

What's not structurally deficient? The two Interstate 5 bridges over the Columbia River, which the $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing proposes to fix—largely on safety claims. (The chart shows a portion of Interstate 5 over the Janzen Beach pedestrian tunnel is deficient, but the bridges themselves are not).

Yes, the bridges, built in 1916 and 1958 are functionally obsolete, but so is the Broadway Bridge, which got a 100th birthday party from Multnomah County.

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