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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 23, 2008 7:52 PM. The previous post in this blog was Blast from the (recent) past. The next post in this blog is P.R. firm pulls a boner. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The fine print on the Sauvie bridge move

The howls of protest are being heard all over Portland tonight, as the City Council voted today to move the old Sauvie Island Bridge into town to serve as a bike bridge over I-405 at Flanders Street. The criticisms are falling under three headings:

1. There is no need for a bike bridge at that location.

2. If a bike bridge is to be built, a newer, cheaper structure should be erected -- not a rehab of the old Sauvie, which among other things is covered in lead paint.

3. The $5.5 million figure that is being touted as the cost of the project is greatly understated.

On that third point, this document may be of interest. It's the city's official announcement that it won't be putting the lion's share of the work on the project out for bid. The first phase of the project will be handed to Kuney Construction, the people who apparently already own the bridge under their construction contract on Sauvie with the state. According to the notice, "Phase One includes moving the bridge from Sauvie Island to Port of Portland Terminal 2, removing and disposing of the existing lead-based paint, repainting the bridge, moving the bridge to NW Flanders over I-405, and completing the installation." For that, Kuney will be paid, according to the notice, "approximately $3.913 million."

The second phase of the project will be put out for bid. "Phase Two includes building new bridge foundations at I-405 at NW Flanders Street, site preparation, and traffic signal installation." I guess that's all supposed to come to $1.587 million, but we'll see when the bids come in.

Meanwhile, if you're a firm who would like to get a crack at the first phase of the work, you have seven days to protest the no-bid contract. But then again, in order for you to get the work, I suppose you'd have to go buy the bridge from Kuney first. Good luck.

Comments (35)

I went over to BikePortland to read about this announcement. It's kinda cool if you do a compare/contrast with the PROCUREMENT document that you posted, Jack and the PRESS RELEASE put out by the Portland Dept of Transportation (which I found via Bike Portland site).

1a. Procurement Document:
"approximately $3.913 million"

1b. Press Release:
"Guaranteed maximum price of $3.913 million"

2a. Press Release:
"Kuney will incur any unforeseen cost increases, if they arise."

2b. Procurement Document:
??? Didn't see such a statement...did I miss it? Is there another document that contains this language ???

Portland city government seems to exist in a bizzare alternate universe where all that matters is taking lots of symbolic "progressive" stands (in this case pro-bike and pro-recycling), so that Portlanders can continue to reinforce their own identities as hip progressive types who choose to live in such a hip progessive city as Portland. I do wish sometimes that city leaders brought more good old fashioned cost-benefit analysis to the city council table.

From BikePortland (quoting Max J Kuney, yes he is real and $5m richer):

“We’re not trying to stampede them into making a decision on this. I asked Sam [Commissioner Adams] if me being here to explain the situation would help, and he said, ‘sure’, come on down.”

One question - When does Sam get his testicles (and brain) back? Or is old Max keeping them in a jar for future use?

Where exactly are all these "howls" coming from? I only know of one source.

Simply amazing.

Think of all the new sidewalks that could be built with $5 million.

Whatever happened to Sam's "people will die" argument if we don't add a new road safety tax to our water bills?

Sho Dozono could join the Socialist Party and I would still vote for him before Frankenbridge Adams. Unlike the $15 million tram, he won't be able to blame this one on Vera.

I applaud the City Council decision to reuse the Sauvie Island bridge. One thread at a time the fabric of our city becomes richer; in this case the visual impact is a bonus to the functional daily use the bridge.

A cost benefit analysis is provides a singular view and can only measure what can be quantified. The Soviet block used this to the great dismay of their citizens. Now relics being torn down.

Callaway

Where exactly are all these "howls" coming from? I only know of one source.

You might want to buy yourself a radio.

the visual impact

LMAO. It's as good-looking as the Marquam Bridge.

The Marquam and Sauvie Island bridges are completely different types of truss bridges. the flat "deck style" Marquam has no real sky connection while the Sauvie is an arched truss that is lacy in form, with two ends, the Marquam has ends? the Sauvie's ends lower towards the deck providing an entrance portal then rise towards the sky as you pass into the span, then lower as you leave. It is a very pleasant experience at a pedestrian speed. The many connections of the steel will provide a nice texture, that is part of the visual appeal. A bridge is the bring together of whats apart, in this case two very different neighborhoods and all with the help of a donated icon form another Portland neighborhood. This is a good thing.

They're both butt-ugly car bridges.

Give my love to Randy Gragg.

"A bridge is the bring together of whats apart, in this case two very different neighborhoods...."

About as different as eggshell and white.

Are you serious?

I heard the salvage bridge is Free and the $5.5 million is "only" for shipping and handling. Can't wait to see them float it up I-405.

"A bridge is the bring together of whats apart, in this case two very different neighborhoods and all with the help of a donated icon form another Portland neighborhood."

Maybe it will make up for the neighborhoods separated when the Sellwood bridge collapses.

It's still an ugly piece of junk no matter how much sophistry you use.

Callaway's image can be seen above at "PR firm...."

"One thread at a time the fabric of our city becomes richer..."

Ack.

Supporters of this project are not picking their battles wisely. This bridge is the talk of my neighborhood, and everyone is angrily connecting it to Sam Adams. Much bigger, more complex, wastes of our taxes like the proposed convention center hotel don't sink in, but this simple bridge project does.

Finally people are starting to figure out that wasteful projects like this are the reason Portland doesn't have enough money to provide basic services.

"The Marquam and Sauvie Island bridges are completely different types of truss bridges."

As far as the pedestrian bridge, the lacey aspect of its surface tends to provide a stark visual contrast to the planes and geometric shapes of the current and forecasted loft construction. This makes for a jarring dissonance at street-level since the clean lines of existing construction are veiled by the irregular surfaces of the bridge fabric itself. The sense of a rising façade of the bridge structure would in addition cause tension by the relative uncertainty of depth presented upon entering the bridge (“cave effect”.) This is where I disagree that this is the proper “bring-together” of two schools of architecture on either side of the bridge. By inserting a third element of finish, this merely juxtaposes an additional surface treatment rather than serving as a transition, and ultimately, a uniting effect upon the ecology we are trying to create. In Portland, we are torn by our desire to be different (“Keep Portland Weird”) and yet create our own sense of utopia, albeit at taxpayer expense. This bridge would only add one more context to the metaphor that composes all of our lives as citizens of greater Portland. We need to stop this installation if we we to preserve the cloth of our society as one contiguous fabric without snags.

In defense of the Marquam, I feel it presents a winged aspect within the context of its downtown surroundings. By uniting the over-developed West end of Portland and crossing the ribbon of the Willamette to unite with the lower profile East side. The gain in altitude as one leaves either end of the bridge can only be compared to an eagle soaring to its aerie. It is this “loft” that creates an emotional positivism of the average wage-slave/commuter who may feel burdened by his job and oppressive tax load. Even if only for a brief instant, his sense of escape, while temporary, gives him a fore-shadowing of what Portland could be like without out the artificially imposed bounds of state-mandated art and excess taxes. As the driver rises on the ramps to the ultimate height, he soars above the half-complete shanty =town that is SoWa – a true neighborhood in transition. This allows him to unite with the experience of the tram rider as he ascends from the tax-free office building where he parked his Mercedes to OHSU for his once a month meeting on how best to grow bio-tech business in Florida. For this reason, we need to defend the Marquam, if only as a space to view the decay of the Sellwood bridge.

I feel it presents a winged aspect within the context of its downtown surroundings. By uniting the over-developed West end of Portland and crossing the ribbon of the Willamette to unite with the lower profile East side. The gain in altitude as one leaves either end of the bridge can only be compared to an eagle soaring to its aerie. It is this “loft” that creates an emotional positivism

ah, the Cuervo Gold. the fine Columbian.

I can't decide the real reason this bridge is being pushed upon us.
Is Commissioner Adams trying to complete the dream of his former boss to cover I-405?
Or is the bridge expected to provide more affordable housing (underneath it, at least) in place of what hasn't been built on the South Waterfront?

If there aren't cost overruns I think this is a great move for the city, and one that will easily pay off during the lifetime of the bridge.

I know that's a big "if", but hopefully the city attorneys have factored everything in.

Maybe they could move this one instead.

Sam was on KPAM this morning. He mentioned something about Kuney and the second phase contractors having to cough up the $ for any cost overruns. What's that all about?

Er, that should be 620 AM, KPOJ. My mistake.

I can't decide the real reason this bridge is being pushed upon us.
Is Commissioner Adams trying to complete the dream of his former boss to cover I-405?

Sam Adams said a while back that moving the existing bridge is all about keeping Portland's "sustainable" image with the rest of the world.
No joke.

Maybe they could move this one instead.

Thats a pretty cool looking bridge. The whole park looks like a nice place. My parents live down that way. I may have to check that park out next time I am down there.

Of course the Sauvie bridge was replaced because it was structurally failing. I imagine that situation will be miraculously cured with a "laying on of hands" by Adams and his two-wheeled, half-brained buddies.

With any luck, the catastrophic failure will occur when the freeway is empty and the zoobombers and critical mass are....


...never mind.

The Sauvie bridge arch was NOT failing, it just can't handle vehicles over 40 tons which are common now.

The Sauvie bridge arch was NOT failing...

OK, if you say so. I guess, semantically, you may be right.

What about this, though?

The bridge needs protection from earthquakes. It was designed before earthquakes were considered a problem in the Northwest. Cost to seismically retrofit the bridge for major earthquakes is estimated at $8.5 million.

This is a payoff to the bike community and the first in what will be a line of monuments to Sam's arrogance. The deal was sealed with a back room arrangement between Salzman and Adams. It was brought up under emergency provisions because Sam's arrogance can't stand open public debate. Instead, he ram rods things through.

This worked great when the economy was booming and the white elephants (ballpark, Armory) didn't matter that much.

But when we're spending our surplus as fast as we can, water rates going up 8.65, sewer rates 5%, property taxes looking at a big increase, and a new tax for roads?

This is just crazy. More ways to push poor and working class folks out of the city.

Better a bridge for bicyclists than paved roads and jobs.

If Sho's crew has any common sense they'll jump on this bridge thing like starving wolverines on a bucket of KFC. Next press conference/meeting/whatever: "Yeah, I'm an aging businessman and, sure, I stumble over my words but...for God's sake people, at least I understand the concept of keeping a city's budget within its means."

The sense of a rising façade of the bridge structure would in addition cause tension by the relative uncertainty of depth presented upon entering the bridge (“cave effect”.)

Sorry bud - bridges don't have facades!

The bridge needs protection from earthquakes. It was designed before earthquakes were considered a problem in the Northwest. Cost to seismically retrofit the bridge for major earthquakes is estimated at $8.5 million.

The seismic upgrading cost would have been for upgrading of the piers at its location at Sauvie Island, not the superstructure (the truss) itself.

The reason the bridge was replaced is that it wouldn't carry 105,000 lb loads that the farmers/nursery trucks wanted, only the legal load limit of 80,000 lbs. The 105,000 lb limit is granted by the state as an annual permit. Note that California does not grant such permits on an annual basis.

The piers were the main problem but the some girders of the main truss have already been "repaired" using a fiber-reinforced polymer process. Further, the span itself has NOT been evaluated for seismic integrity.

...but, who cares?

Note that California does not grant such permits on an annual basis.

Let them buy it and move it to Lodi.

"Portland city government seems to exist in a bizzare alternate universe where all that matters is taking lots of symbolic "progressive" stands"

Couldn't agree more. There are plenty of streets in my eastside hood with no sidewalks, or even paving in some cases. Yet to follow the news in this city you'd think that the greatest needs are from the cyclists in the Pearl and whoever the people are who want to take a streetcar to OMSI.

I swear the discussion in this city is surreal sometimes.

The piers were the main problem but the some girders of the main truss have already been "repaired" using a fiber-reinforced polymer process. Further, the span itself has NOT been evaluated for seismic integrity.

The concrete girder approach spans were repaired using FRP, not the main truss span.

*****************

Note that California does not grant such permits on an annual basis.

Let them buy it and move it to Lodi.

The point was that the CA legislature didn't let themselves be overrun by the trucking lobby like the OR legislature did. I know I'm sure happy to be paying higher tag fees for my car so I can participate in upgrading bridges for ever heavier trucks.


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