City Council Considers Umatilla River Bridge Location Analysis

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The Hermiston City Council on Monday will vote on whether to help fund an engineering analysis to evaluate the pros and cons of two potential Umatilla River bridge locations west of Hermiston.

The city of Hermiston in 2001 identified the two optimal road extensions and bridge locations – Elm Avenue and Punkin Center Road. A preliminary engineering report will identify which location best fits the transportation, economic, and environmental needs of the region.

The city council will vote on whether to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with
Umatilla County and the city of Umatilla to fund the study. All three entities have been engaged in the process because the bridge will benefit development and transportation for the entire region.

The W. Highland Avenue bridge at Riverfront Park is the only current Umatilla River crossing in Hermiston, leading to increasingly concentrated traffic on Highland, S.W. 11th Street, and the Westland/Bridge/Powerline corridor.

“As our area’s population and workforce grows, vehicle traffic will increase with it,” said Mark Morgan, assistant city manager. “Planning now for additional future connections will lay the groundwork for continued positive residential, commercial, and Industrial growth across the region.”

The preliminary engineering report will provide cost estimates and conceptual designs for both crossings, with the hope of identifying a preferred option. The next step will be to locate state and federal funding for construction of the bridge within the next 10-20 years.

The Hermiston City Council will meet on Monday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Hermiston Community Center, and the meeting is streamed on the city’s website at www.hermiston.or.us. More information about the MOU and engineering report is available on the city council agenda.

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