Footbridge Over Burnside Construction Updates

Good news!  The Barbara Walker Footbridge Over Burnside, a safe and beautiful crossing for the Wildwood Trail over Burnside between Forest Park and Washington Park, is well on its way to a May 2019 opening!

Off-site construction of the bridge structure is slated to begin before the end of this year, and we are slated to begin on-site in winter 2019.

For information about how to support the Footbridge Over Burnside campaign, please see our Campaign webpage. For all things related to the construction of the Barbara Walker Footbridge, please see below.

November 13, 2018 Update

Progress on Footbridge permitting continues!  In late October PPF received PBOT approval for its “60% design” submission. The 90% design documents are currently submitted and under review by PBOT and PP&R. 

Approval of the 60% design has several important impacts.  

(1)  It prompts formal notice by the City of the need for utility line relocation. 
(2)  It allows PPF to work with its general contractor on a near-final estimate of the project’s actual construction costs. 
(3)  It brings us closer to issuing the "notice to proceed" for steel fabrication off-site. On-site construction of the Footbridge's concrete pier and landings will begin this winter.

PPF is planning a public meeting in January 2019 to answer questions about the project and let the community know what to expect when construction on West Burnside begins.  We will send email announcements and post public service announcements of the meeting in coming weeks, as well as provide details here.

Continuing thanks to our donors, our project partners (especially kpff, Inc., R&H Construction, Ed Carpenter, Walker Macy, and Shiels Obletz Johnsen), the staff at PBOT and PP&R, and everyone else who is helping to make this project possible!


August 14, 2018 Update

We have submitted what are known as "60% design" documents to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), and we are now incorporating comments from PBOT and Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) in preparation to submit "90% design" documents.  PP&R will own and maintain the Footbridge once it's completed.

When we are assured that no further significant design changes will be required, Portland Parks Foundation (PPF) can purchase steel for the bridge structure and authorize a start to off-site fabrication this fall.  We are also developing the construction contract that will include a guaranteed maximum price.  We expect to complete this process in September.

The adage "time is money" has never been truer than for this project.  Estimated costs of construction have escalated 20% since 2017.  PPF and its contractors are identifying potential savings, but the final budget for the entire Footbridge campaign since 2014 is likely to exceed $3 million.  Recent grants from the Wheeler Foundation and Travel Oregon have brought private funding past the $2 million mark, along with $700,000 in funds committed from the City of Portland and Metro.  PPF is working with the city to identify additional funding, as well as approaching foundations with proposals for the final funds needed.  Warm thanks to the nearly 1,000 generous individuals and organizations who have helped bring us so close to the finish line!  

Stay tuned for updates on the construction process, trail or lane closures, and other information about the progress on the Footbridge. We appreciate the community’s patience and support as this important safety measure and art work is brought to completion!


May 15, 2018 Update

Good news!  The Footbridge Over Burnside, connecting the Wildwood Trail between Forest Park and Washington Park, is well into the public works permitting process and slated tentatively for groundbreaking this winter.

The Footbridge, to be named for the late parks volunteer and tireless advocate Barbara Walker, is a long overdue safety measure for the estimated 80,000 pedestrians who cross West Burnside at the Wildwood Trail annually.  It will also reduce the danger for 20,000 drivers each day who pass the trailheads and often need to brake suddenly as they round blind curves and catch sight of crossers. The Footbridge has been cited in several city studies as a priority for safety.

This project of the Portland Parks Foundation (PPF) and local community leaders has been supported by nearly 1,000 private gifts totaling over $2 million, as well as generous commitments from City of Portland and Metro.  The bridge will be not only a safe and practical solution to the danger on the Wildwood—it’s also a virtual work of art, designed by Ed Carpenter of Northwest Portland, whose public art installations can be seen in numerous cities from Florida to Hawaii, as well as Asia.

As the construction phase comes closer, PPF will be holding a community meeting in NW Portland to inform residents of the project’s impact on traffic patterns and trail usage.  Much of the Footbridge’s steel construction will occur off-site, but construction of the supporting pylon (on the south side gravel shoulder) and each landing on the Wildwood Trail will create inconveniences for drivers and trail users.  

We wish it weren’t so, but use of the Wildwood Trail between Pittock Mansion and Washington Park will be limited during construction.  PPF will be working with our contractor and Portland Parks & Recreation to post signs informing hikers and runners about trail access. We will also work with our community partners such as Forest Park Conservancy, Pittock Mansion, Hoyt Arboretum, the Portland Japanese Garden, World Forestry Center, the Oregon Zoo, trail and running organizations, and others to ensure that Wildwood Trail users know what to expect.  

Please stay tuned to this web page for updates on the construction process, trail or lane closures, and other information about the progress on the Footbridge.

PPF appreciates the community’s patience and support as this important safety measure and art work is brought to completion!

Design Documents


Comment Form

Questions or Concerns? We want to hear from you. Please use the form below to contact PPF about any project related questions or concerns. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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