SUPPORT FOR THE NEW
A $1.5 million dollar grant is currently funding the planning process for a new bicycle-pedestrian bridge across the Willamette River here in Wilsonville. The Bridge Task Force and the Technical Task Force have both completed their work on the recommendation for the specific location of the Bridge. On June 4th, the Wilsonville City Council voted affirmatively to accept their recommendation. The preferred site is west of the I-5 Boone Bridge crossing the Willamette River near the railroad bridge. The current plans (as of this writing) hope to have a ‘type of bridge’ identified by the end of 2018. By that point as well, plans should be complete for “30% design” of the Bridge. Included in that package is to be a recommendation for a funding package that could actually begin construction of the new Bridge.
The new Ice Age Trail coming south from Tualatin will be connected directly into the north-end ramp of the Bridge. The north end of the Ice Age Trail can connect to the new Salmonberry Trail - thus connecting the Bridge all the way to the Northern Oregon Coast! The Bridge will also be connected to the MAX Train Station, here in Wilsonville, for access by mass transit from any where in the entire Metropolitan area. Potential exist to eventually also connect north through Stafford, Lake Oswego, the Sellwood Bridge and the Springwater Trail – which would enable connection of the Bridge to downtown Portland, Washington State, Mt. Hood, and the new Columbia Gorge Trail!
On the south side, the Willamette River Scenic Byway Bicycle Trail currently extends from Eugene north to a dead end at Champoeg State Park. Plans include connecting the Bridge to that trail, as well, to make it possible to ride from Portland all the way to Eugene (and eventually California!). Some are hoping that it will also connect to the Cascading Rivers Scenic Bikeway from Estacada to Detroit so you can reach Central Oregon by bicycle as well!
When completed, the Bridge will be an answer to a phone call that was received recently from some people in British Columbia wanting to know how to cross the Willamette River once they got south of Portland on a bicycle trip they were planning! Clearly, the Bridge will become a critical piece in the entire bicycle infrastructure of the Greater Portland area and the entire Pacific Northwest!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.