Whatâ€™s the latest update on the Sellwood Bridge Project?
The Sellwood Bridge Project team has been very busy these past few months preparing the draft Environmental Impact Statement (draft EIS). The five alternatives under consideration have been analyzed to determine their impacts in a broad range of environmental categories. The alternatives also have been compared against maintaining the bridge as it is with repairs to keep it in use for 20 more years (the â€œNo Buildâ€ alternative). The draft EIS is currently being reviewed by the participating agencies.
What happens next?
After agency review, the draft EIS will go to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for their review. The document will then be made available to the public this fall and there will be plenty of opportunity for public discussion about the alternatives and their impacts. Another round of public outreach will occur at that time, including another newsletter, open house, online survey, and a public hearing on the draft EIS. A public comment period will accompany the release of the document. All public comments about the document received at that time will become part of the official record and will be responded to in the final EIS.
The Community Task Force and Policy Advisory Group will then consider the public comments before recommending a preferred alternative. This recommendation is expected to be made by the end of this year. The recommended alternative will be submitted for approval to the Multnomah County Commission, Portland City Council, and the Metro Council. After those approvals, the selected alternative will be forwarded for final approval to the FHWA.
How to get a copy of the Draft EIS
The best way to look at the draft EIS will be to go through the project website (www.sellwoodbridge.org). Newsletters and other public notices will go out in advance of the public comment period.