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SUPPORT FOR THE NEW
BICYLE-PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

The story is progressing.  Several steps have been taken since last year’s report.  The $1.5 million federal grant set the stage for the advisory Task Force to accomplish two goals.  First, to make a recommendation for the specific location of the bridge; and second to recommend the “style” of the bridge. 

 Three choices were studied extensively.  All three locations were crossing the Willamette River from Boones Ferry Park (immediately west of the I-5 Boone Bridge on the north shore) – near the Boone Bridge, in the middle of the park, and over close to the railroad bridge.  Concerns on both the north and the south shore were considered – existing buildings, connections, etc.  Extra time was taken to give some extra effort to study the location due to it being a historical place for crossing the river for millennia and the need to make sure no Indian heritage sites would be disturbed.  The location chosen was the one closest to the railroad bridge – most visible from I-5.  The City Council and the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners also chose this recommended location.

 The task force considered five different styles of bridges.  After extensive community input and research two styles were chosen by the Task Force for recommendation to the City Council.  One was a “cable stay” bridge – similar to the new Tillicum Crossing in downtown Portland.  The second was a ‘suspension” bridge – similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  One comment made by several Task Force members was that when they’ve traveled one of the primary things they remembered about a city after they get back home is the memory of the bridges in the city.  Largely, the two styles chosen were based on the bridge’s capability of attracting tourism dollars to Wilsonville.  The City Council unanimously supported the recommendation of the French Prairie Bridge Task Force, designating these two bridge types for further study.

 Currently on the City of Wilsonville web site is a questionnaire for the public/everyone to fill out to give feedback on the two styles of bridge.  The questionnaire will be on the web from mid-April to May 5.  The questionnaire reviews information on both types and has renderings of what they could look like in the environment in which the bridge will be.  Everyone is encouraged to fill out the questionnaire.

 A primary point of discussion against the bridge is the traffic already existing around Wilsonville.  There is a strong feeling that we don’t need to worry about a pedestrian bridge until the current traffic woes are dealt with.  Secondly, many local citizens feel that Wilsonville itself is responsible for paying for the entire bridge.  Most of the funding dollars, however, will most likely be coming from federal funds specifically dedicated for bicycle infrastructure.  This means if ‘we’ don’t use that money it will be spent anyway in Nebraska, or Maine, or somewhere else.

 By this summer, a funding package for the bridge is supposed to be announced.

 The Salmon Cycling Classic is in full support of the bridge, and everyone should know that the authorities are taking notice of the event and the attendance numbers. So your mere presence at the event is important.

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Your participation in the Salmon Cycling Classic gives additional impetus to the continuing process of getting the Bridge built and making it become a reality.  The number of riders will certainly be noticed by officials!  So thanks for your participation.  You are encouraged to forward any encouragements and thoughts about the value of the bridge to Zack Weigle at   weigel@ci.wilsonville.or.us.