December 7, 2022

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Neighbors ask if Spring Boulevard bridge can support mass evacuation

2 min read

by John Quetzalcoatl Murray

A neighborhood group has drawn attention to an important evacuation route – the Spring Boulevard bridge over East 30th.

Jess Tuerk of Southeast Neighbors is asking whether the bridge can survive an earthquake.

“Both the crossing over it—and very definitely under it—would serve as a key evacuation route for tens of thousands of people,” Jess wrote in a letter to local officials. “What degree of shaking has it been rated to withstand?”

Eugene City Engineer Jenifer Willer discovered that the bridge over 30th Avenue was transferred from Lane County to the City of Eugene in 2006, but that city, county, and Oregon Department of Transportation records were never updated.

ODOT was still sending inspection reports to Lane County. Jenifer obtained a copy of the 2021 inspection, which found the bridge in “very good condition.”

But because the bridge was not in the City’s inventory, Spring Boulevard missed seismic evaluations performed during 2016 and 2018 of the City’s 56 roadway bridges.

Thanks to the prompting from Southeast Neighbors, Jenifer said the City’s inventory now includes bridge 57.

“With the updated information, Public Works Engineering will schedule having the Spring Boulevard bridge added to the bridge inventory and complete a seismic evaluation,” she said.

Neighborhood organizations provide everyone an opportunity to have a voice in decisions that affect the livability of their neighborhood, including: community safety, neighborhood planning, transportation, parks, homelessness, food security, and disaster preparedness.

Contact your nearby neighbors through the Neighborhood Associations pages on the City’s website.

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