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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shocking SoWhat news!

Hold onto your hats, people. You'll never believe it. The proposed pedestrian bridge over I-5 in Portland's Lair Hill neighborhood into the SoWhat District is 68 percent over budget and may not get built!

Who could ever have predicted that?

Comments (18)

People who live up the hill from South Waterfront bitterly opposed construction of the aerial tram. The bridge has been seen as a bit of pay-back for the neighborhood, providing them access to the river that was cut off years ago by the interstate.

A true Bridge to Nowhere, based on nothing, built for no one.

I just hope this one little example doesn't cause people to feel misled by their political leaders. That could lead to derision and bursts of laughter when these projects are first sold, and that would be beneficial. Excuse me...that would be bad.

You may say this feel-good gesture for the neighbors who got screwed by the tram, was always expendable because this project was never designed to help them. Well, believe me when I say nothing could be closer to the truth. Excuse me, make that "farther."

Clearly, the council was completely sincere when it set out to sell this project by attaching some PR stunts. The eventual outcome was not completely predictable. It was one of those things that nobody could foresee.

Besides, the plan was flawed from the beginning. The correct way to handle this is to tear out a section of the freeway, then add 14 feet of fill, and build the freeway up again.
That way the bridge would become a tunnel which would decrease traffic congestion and bring our insurance premiums down. Plus it would be educational and it would provide 1,000 tunnel tech jobs, and affordable housing inside the tunnel, with boutiques, restaurants, and maybe a hotel at one end.
Finally, I've asked members of the council to look at these budgets - not as guesstimates - but in a realistic way so that - all together, everyone - nothing like this can ever happen again.

Yates from PDOT was telling the SoWhat URAC just six months ago that the bidding would come in under estimates so that the ped bridge was a reality.

With recent local public and private bidding coming in 35% less than projected, why is this project way over budget? Besides its three years past promised completion date.

It certainly makes sense to build the least important item in SoWhat-the Tram before any of the real, promised projects.

Not ONE street access improvement has been built for SoWhat-like the South Portal to bring traffic in from Macadam and I-5,or the Central Portal at SW Sheridan, or the North Portal, or the I-5 overfly off ramp. If fact, the North Portal off ramp has been substituted with only minor future improvements to the existing Harrison St. turns into the existing River Place clear to the north.

So all north traffic from I-5 and elsewhere will be funneled into this so-called existing North Portal. That is an additional 35,000 vehicle trips per day on this existing street. This is PDOT's answer to vehicle traffic, but the $1.4 Billion for light rail through the district is okay because it might service 6% trips into the district.

Good Planning again.

68%? Yeah right.

Try 700% over budget.

Once again the journalist fails miserably to check the background numbers.

But wait it's Ryan Frank who knows the
original numbers?

As in what the City of Portland/PDC said the bridge would cost when they called the plan feasible and recoomened approval.

It's right here with the rest of the low balled cost estimates, inflated revenue projections and pie in the sky schedule.


Pedestrian Crossing Over I-5 @ Gibbs/Gains $1,636,858

Project Revenues and Expenditure Summary

Project/Program Expenditure Activities FY 20P00-01 FY 2001-02 FY 2002-03 FY 2003-04 FY 2004-05 FY 2005-06

edestrian Crossing Over I-5 @ Gibbs/Gains 256,250 262,656 269,223 275,953 282,852 289,923

Ben, the Ped Bridge increase from $1.6M to $12M in ten years at 700% makes sense. That must explain Frank overlooking this increase and PDC ignoring it.

Have you ever added up the administrative and design cost to get to this point of no-build? There's been over three engineers/designers on the bridge.

I think the $1.6M is the local "matching" share applied against the federal funds allocated to teh project.


Say what? Where did that come from?
Are you a PDC employee?

If you read the NM plan posted on PDC


which I posted above, you would note the June 24. 1999 date and the rest of the "plan" where every estimate, for the Tram, Greenway, ped/bike bridge and streets were all ridiculously low balled estimates.

This is how these things get approved.

Tax funded public employees with Vera creepy and Fireman Randy approval and no oversight make up things.

This project is just like all the other projects...were I to list them there would be no room on the page.
Maybe Sam can do a jump from the tram fundraiser?

This may be an indirect way to subsidize OHSU, which chained itself to a future of budget problems by expanding in the most expensive area of Portland.

One way this could turn into a subsidy is by shuffling the part of the $7M bridge money (the part that can be shuffled) over to another underfunded project, and then reducing OHSU's contribution to that project by the same part of the $7M.

We're watching OHSU's downward spiral. If the backroom subsidies ever end, OHSU will face some tough choices about its staff, location, and expansions.

Surely we all agree that cost is no object for a crucial linchpin structure such as this.

It's expensive to keep Portland weird, and to maintain the fiction that any more than perhaps 10% of the population regularly walks or bikes anywhere.

Jim, you are surely correct that it is an "indirect way to subsidize OHSU". This "indirect way" has been employed by OHSU before. When the $40 Million flyover off ramp into SoWhat was scuttled, OHSU Brian Newman on the URAC asked that the money be redirected into the North SoWhat, the OHSU property, for site/street development.

Then there's still the $6.5 Million given to OHSU for parking and air rights for a parking garage that was never built. Taxpayers haven't even received interest on the money. When is PDC going to demand payment back to Portland's taxpayers? Those dollars would pick up leaves for more than 65 years.

In Tokyo, pedestrian overpasses are everywhere. They are strictly utilitarian concrete and steel structures with stairways at either end to enable pedestrians to cross busy streets without danger or delay. They have no accomodation for ADA, bicycles, or Segway scooters. They don't cost $7M either. I'll bet the new bridge for SoWhat will be much more beautiful!

Living nearly under the tram as I do, I really don't know anyone who lives West of the freeway that has any desire to visit SoWhat in the first place.

I've always seen this bridge project for what it's worth, not a concession to the neighborhood for stringing a glorified bus over our heads and blocking our views with bland architecture, but simply a PR device to show those not impacted that the city "cares".

Say what? Where did that come from?
Are you a PDC employee?

PMG is in fact posting from a City of Portland computer.

There are two Portland employees with the initials PMG: a police officer and a PBOT project manager who works on other bridges, and, as you might expect, lives in a big suburban home in unincorporated Clackamas county. Gee, I wonder who commented. It must feel good to sit around and burn my f*****g tax dollars.

Ha ha, Shocking.

So the PMG, city employee, tries to feed the readers yet another blatant falsehood.

Hey PMG, "think" again and try again.

I'll take anything you post and put it through the stench filter.

Fo those interested in the truth the Greenway was stated to cost $6.6 millioj and now will be over $60 million.

The Tram was cost estimated in the UR plan to only cost $3.3 million.

As we know the city has propogandized that the original figure was $12 million and $15 million.

The city leaders and bureaucrats cannot be trusted, period. This is the reality in the Creepy CoP.

Remember who's in charge of Transportation for the last 5 years. Many of the best engineers around have bailed out of COP because of Sam and his demands that are not based in financial reality. Promises Pormises.

I'm shocked simply shocked there are cost overruns and budget issues on a COP project. Round up the usual excuses.

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