New renderings show options for Interstate 5 bridge replacement

March 12, 2024

Officials have unveiled renderings of a multibillion-dollar project to replace the Interstate 5 bridge that connects Washington and Oregon.

The images show several proposed configurations for the bridge and nearby infrastructure: an extra-dosed bridge for a single level, a truss bridge for a double level and a girder bridge for a movable span.

However, the images do not represent a complete range of bridge types being considered, and the specific type and configuration has not been approved, according to planners with the project.

The configurations are being analyzed as part of a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). Once the SEIS is published, nearby communities will be able to review and provide feedback during a 60-day comment period, officials said.

Finalization of piers, rails and other elements will occur in the program’s design phase following the publication of the federal Record of Decision, the department said.

The current Interstate 5 bridge – which runs between Portland, Oregon, and southwest Washington over the Columbia River – is more than 100 years old and faces the risk of collapsing during an earthquake. Operating and maintaining the bridge costs $1.2 million per year to operate and maintain.

The replacement project is a collaboration between Oregon and Washington. It is projected to cost between $5 billion and $7.5 billion, with both states contributing $1 billion. The states are seeking an additional $2.5 billion from the federal government for the project.

The project includes replacing the North Portland Harbor Bridge, extending light rail, building an access bridge connecting Hayden Island to Marine Drive and improving seven interchanges.

Solicitations for construction are anticipated to begin this year. Construction is expected to begin in late 2025 or early 2026 and completed between 2031 and 2033.

Photo courtesy of the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program

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