Volunteers Needed for the Grand Opening on October 27th


The Portland Parks Foundation needs 24 amazing volunteers on October 27th to help at our grand opening celebration of the Barbara Walker Crossing, the bridge over Burnside that connects the Wildwood Trail between Forest Park and Washington Park.  Volunteers are critical to the success of this event. Please consider being a part of making this the best Burnside street party in Portland.

BONUS: You'll receive a limited edition, long-sleeve event t-shirt and pass to the Columbia Sportswear Employee Store. 

Volunteers will be at various points throughout the event managing attendees, helping at the fun run, providing information and maintaining a safe environment. We also need volunteers at our shuttle stops at Washington Park MAX Station and NW Barnes Rd. This is an exciting, action packed volunteer opportunity!

To confirm your spot as a volunteer, please complete this form.

IMPORTANT: On Tuesday, October 22nd at 6pm, we will have a volunteer orientation at the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall (NW Quimby St, Portland, OR 97209) – snacks and non-alcoholic drinks provided by the Portland Parks Foundation. Attendance is not mandatory, but HIGHLY recommended due to the complex nature of the event.

The Details

WHEN: October 27, 2019 from 7:30 am to 12 pm

WHAT: Volunteering for the Barbara Walker Crossing Grand Opening

WHERE: Varied sites including the event entrance at NW 24 Pl and W Burnside, Washington Park MAX Station, NW Hermosa and W Burnside. Stations will be assigned the week of the event.

WHAT TO WEAR: Dress appropriately. You will be on your feet most of the time, so wear comfortable shoes and bring rain gear and warm coats depending on the weather forecast. Note that some shifts will require 2 miles of walking (to and from the event entrance).

QUESTIONS: Want to volunteer, but have some questions first? Contact Jessica Green at jgreen@portlandpf.org or 503.445.0994.

R&H Construction and PBOT watch as two pieces of the Barbara Walker Crossing are connected together on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Photo credit: Diego Diaz Photography

R&H Construction and PBOT watch as two pieces of the Barbara Walker Crossing are connected together on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Photo credit: Diego Diaz Photography

Installation is almost complete!

Barbara Walker Crossing, a pedestrian bridge that connects the Wildwood Trail between Forest Park and Washington Park over West Burnside.

Barbara Walker Crossing, a pedestrian bridge that connects the Wildwood Trail between Forest Park and Washington Park over West Burnside.

There’s a new bridge in town! Last weekend, the Portland Parks Foundation erected the Barbara Walker Crossing, the beautiful new pedestrian bridge over West Burnside designed by local artist, Ed Carpenter. Although you can enjoy the view as you drive on Burnside, the bridge is not open to the public yet. R&H is working hard to finish the final pieces of installation and make the trails and bridge safe for pedestrian access by the end of next week.

Please obey the construction signs and do not attempt to access the trail or the crossing until it is officially open. This is still an active work zone. Additionally, do not park in the gravel shoulder along West Burnside. Vehicles are not allowed to park here.

On October 27, please join the Portland Parks Foundation as we celebrate the 100’s of donors and partners who made it this bridge possible. We’re throwing a Burnside street party for YOU! There will be a parade, an ALL ages dash up Burnside and a dedication performance by local artists. Don’t miss it! Find our more here.

Images provided by Diego Diaz Photography.

Details for Temporary Closure of West Burnside

September 16, 2019
Contact: Jessica Green, Portland Parks Foundation, jgreen@portlandpf.org, 503-445-0994

 Barbara Walker Crossing over Burnside:  Temporary West Burnside Closure Ahead

 Bridge installation to close West Burnside October 11 – October 14, 2019

(PORTLAND, OR) - The Portland Parks Foundation (PPF) will be temporarily closing a portion of West Burnside Road to install the Barbara Walker Crossing, a new pedestrian bridge over West Burnside. The Barbara Walker Crossing is a project in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), and Metro.

The steel section of the bridge is currently being fabricated offsite at Supreme Steel’s NE Portland shop and will be transported to the crossing site and craned into place. In order to do this, PPF will temporarily close West Burnside in both directions between NW Hermosa Blvd and NW Barnes Road from 7pm on Friday, October 11 until 4am on Monday, October 14. West Burnside will also temporarily be reduced to two lanes for 500 feet at the location of the bridge installation between October 7 and October 11.

WHAT: West Burnside Road will be temporarily closed for construction of the Barbara Walker Crossing, a new pedestrian bridge.
WHERE: West Burnside will be closed to traffic between NW Hermosa Blvd and NW Barnes Rd, allowing local access to all side streets connecting to Burnside on either side of the closure. For safety, no east or westbound traffic through the work zone will be permitted. Click here for a detour driving map.
WHEN: Work begins at 7pm on October 11 with West Burnside reopening at 4am on October 14.
PROJECT PAGEbarbarawalkercrossing.org

“We thank the community for its patience with the road closure while we lift the Barbara Walker Crossing into place,” says Randy Gragg, executive director of the Portland Parks Foundation. “The Wildwood Trail’s crossing of West Burnside has long been a disaster waiting to happen for runners and hikers. We’re trading a weekend of inconvenience for the safety of the 80,000 people who use the Wildwood Trail every year.”

Project work will include:

  • Transporting the bridge to the site

  • Welding pieces of the bridge together

  • Craning the bridge into place

Please note that during this temporary closure of Burnside, TriMet’s Bus 20 will experience service disruptions. Please check TriMet’s website for updated service advisories over the weekend. Additionally, the sections of the Wildwood Trail near the construction site will remain closed during this time and until the bridge is open to the public later this fall. Click here for a trail closure map.

The Portland Parks Foundation has led the public/private partnership to build the Barbara Walker Crossing project, working with Portland Parks & Recreation, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and Metro.

PPF conducted a successful capital campaign that raised two-thirds of the bridge’s $3.2 million cost, engaging more than 900 individual contributors. “Every single donor has the Foundation’s thanks for making the project a reality,” Gragg says. “It simply would not have happened without the community’s commitment and generosity.”

$850,000 – or one third – of the Barbara Walker Crossing is funded by the City of Portland ($500K from the General Fund and $350K in PBOT System Development Charges (SDCs), which are fees from new construction, not tax dollars). Metro’s 2014 Open Space Bond measure is contributing $200K. Portland Parks & Recreation also provided significant in-kind contributions to the project through $450K in Parks SDCs to the project to cover the Bureau’s project management costs.

The Crossing is named for the late Barbara Walker, one of Portland’s most ardent champions of trails and connecting parks and open spaces. Over four decades she played pivotal roles in creating amenities like Marquam Nature Park, the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade and the 40-Mile Loop Trust. 

Working with the bridge’s designer, Ed Carpenter, R&H Construction and KPFF Consulting Engineers have developed the Barbara Walker Crossing to be built quickly and with minimal impact. The main steel structure will be fabricated off-site then lifted into place, reducing the need for on-site work.

“Portlanders love trails and they love bridges,” says Gragg. “Ed Carpenter’s thoughtful design connects two of our great civic urban traditions to make an experience hikers, runners, and drivers can love together.” 

About Portland Parks Foundation
The Portland Parks Foundation is dedicated to connecting Portlanders to nature and to each other through the city’s parks, public spaces, and natural areas. We lead, develop partnerships, and raise money to fund new facilities, enhance existing ones, and support programs to put our parks system within reach of all. We are the chief philanthropic partner of Portland Parks & Recreation.

Questions about the project? Please go to the Barbara Walker Crossing construction page or contact Portland Parks Foundation’s Operations and Program Officer, Jessica Green at jgreen@portlandpf.org.

About the Foundation:
Website: www.portlandpf.org
Crossing email list: sign up here
Facebook: PortlandParksFoundation

About traffic closures:
Twitter: @PBOTinfo
Facebook: PBOTinfo
Email updates: sign up here 

TriMet Service Alerts

Here are the latest photos from Ed Carpenter’s visit to the steel fabrication site last week. Things are moving along!

Revised Burnside Temporary Closure Date

We've had a hiccup in our construction schedule with the steel fabricator. As a result, we are delaying the September 13-16 bridge erection until October 11-14. This means that the temporary closure of West Burnside Road between NW Hermosa Blvd and NW Barnes Road is now scheduled to take place from 7pm on Friday, October 11, to 4am on Monday, October 14. As we mentioned in the earlier update, we will not be blocking any local access to the streets along Burnside.

As we get closer to the closure date we will send out complete details of the closure including a detour route. At this time, we wanted to inform you about the revised date and send some more pictures from the steel fabrication shop, Supreme Steel, and photos from the installation of the donor circle which is taking place this week at the site. Check them out below! Photos of steel fabrication courtesy of Naim Hasan Photography.

Upcoming Closure Dates

Things might be quiet out there on the sides of West Burnside, but there is plenty of action taking place at Supreme Steel's shop where the steel sections of the bridge are currently being fabricated. Over the next few weeks, Supreme Steel will complete fabrication. When done, these sections will be relocated from the shop in NE Portland to West Burnside and craned into place. During this time, Burnside will be closed between NW Hermosa Blvd and NW Barnes Rd.

The scheduled closure for this section of Burnside is from 7pm on Friday, September 13 to 4am on Monday, September 16. Please note that we will not be blocking any local access to the streets along Burnside. The full closure will be between Hermosa and Barnes.

We will send out complete details of the closure within the next week. At this time, we wanted to inform you about the date and send some pictures from the steel fabrication shop.

Thank you again for your support and patience as we near the finish line of the Barbara Walker Crossing.


We have a Pier


It’s been an exciting month for the Barbara Walker Crossing. Things are really taking shape. Concrete has been poured for the north and south abutments and for the pier on the south side. As you drive (very slowly) passed the site, you will now see the pier sticking up on the south side of Burnside.

Thank you to everyone on the road for your cautious driving and bearing with us this summer with the traffic alterations.

Thank you trail users for finding other beautiful trails to discover while this small portion of the Wildwood Trail is closed.

If you are a member of the trail hiking or trail running community, please help spread the word that this portion of the trail is CLOSED with NO DETOUR until the opening of the bridge this fall. Trespassing on the site is dangerous and costing the project (your dollars), so please discourage people you know from planning to walk/run through the site. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy Washington Park and Forest Park’s trail system!  Please refer to this map for details on trail closure.

Site Mobilization is Complete & Construction Begins

If you’re driving on West Burnside or running or walking the Wildwood Trail, prepare to be frustrated—by some good news: the Barbara Walker Crossing is taking shape! 

Yes, all summer there will be some Burnside lane closures, along with the full closure of a Wildwood Trail section. But we know you agree: a little pain is worth the gain of a safe and beautiful new crossing for the 80,000 yearly users of the Wildwood Trail! 

Led by Shane Bliss and Chuck Roberts, our great team from R&H Construction has been digging out the hillside and installing micro-piles for the bridge’s south abutment and pouring footings for its single pillar. In the coming weeks, Supreme Steel will begin welding the sections of the curving steel span on Swan Island. Root for continued good weather. If all goes smoothly, we’ll crane the bridge into place in August and open the bridge mid-fall. 

Please do not go around the barriers to the Wildwood Trail. This is an active construction site. Besides risking injury or even delays to the project, it’s illegal. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy Washington Park and Forest Park’s trail system!


Barbara Walker Crossing construction has begun; parts of Wildwood Trail now closed until Fall 2019

We are excited to report that groundbreaking for construction on the highly anticipated Barbara Walker Crossing has officially begun. On March 21, Crossing project leaders gathered on site for a “golden shovel” celebration to formally launch the construction phase. Special shout outs to City Commissioners Nick Fish and Chloe Eudaly, Metro Councilor Sam Chase, and PP&R Director Adena Long for joining the celebration, and for their leadership and partnership in making the Crossing a reality. Thanks also to R&H Construction for their work to set up and to PP&R’s Ken Rumbaugh for photographing the event. You can view additional photos here.

Construction mobilization began on March 25. As this phase begins, parts of the Wildwood Trail are now officially closed. Please refer to the map linked at the sidebar for details on trail closure.

A grand celebration for completion of the Crossing and reopening of the Wildwood Trail is anticipated for Fall 2019. Be sure to sign up for our update email list to stay up to date on the progress of Crossing construction.


Crossing construction begins March 25; parts of Wildwood Trail trail closed for duration

Utility work on West Burnside, in preparation for construction of the Barbara Walker Crossing.

Utility work on West Burnside, in preparation for construction of the Barbara Walker Crossing.

On Monday, March 25, construction of the the highly anticipated Barbara Walker Crossing will begin. If you have driven over West Burnside this week, you’ll notice that utility work is already underway. Low voltage lines are being relocated underground. Once the crossing is in place, high voltage lines will be going above it.

As construction begins, parts of the Wildwood Trail will close starting on March 25, to the south of Burnside for about 1,000 feet within Hoyt Arboretum, and north of Burnside to Verde Vista Trail (towards Pittock Mansion). The trail closures will be in place for the duration of construction. Check our sidebar for a map outlining the trail closure.

The Barbara Walker Crossing is scheduled for completion by Fall 2019.

Read more about this stage of the project in our latest press release here

Trail Closure Details during the Barbara Walker Crossing Project's Construction Phase

Construction for the Barbara Walker Crossing is scheduled to begin at the end of March 2019. The project is expected to be complete by September 2019. This highly-anticipated project will close Forest Park’s Wildwood Trail south of Burnside for about 1000 feet, and north of Burnside to Pittock Mansion. See the latest press release and the map below for details.

Forest_Park_working map for temp closure_low rez.jpg

Follow this page for Crossing construction updates

The Barbara Walker Crossing—a safe and beautiful crossing for the Wildwood Trail over Burnside between Forest Park and Washington Park—is well on its way to a fall 2019 opening!

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. You can also sign up to receive updates by email.

January 29, 2019 Update - Construction scheduled to begin in March

Read the latest press release on the project here.

On January 23 at the Oregon Zoo, nearly 50 people attended a public information meeting about the Barbara Walker Footbridge Over Burnside construction project. Attendees included representatives from key partners including Portland Parks Foundation, Portland Parks & Recreation, R & H Construction, Ian Walker, son of the late Barbara Walker, Charlie Swindells, and other members of the citizen steering committee. Speakers included Randy Gragg, the foundation’s new Executive Director; Robin Johnson Craig, Capital Project Manager at PP&R; and R & H Construction’s Kraig O’Connor and Shane Bliss.

The presentation included a history of the project, as well as connections between the Footbridge project and Barbara Walker’s important contributions to Portland parks and trails. Community members and government identified the need for a bridge for the Wildwood Trail decades ago. With Portland Parks Foundation as the lead partner, the project represents a unique and important public-private partnership to make the bridge a reality, with two-thirds of the funding coming from private donations. The footbridge was designed by award-winning artist and long-time Oregonian Ed Carpenter.

The team also shared high-level updates on the construction plan. The Footbridge project has been designed to be completed with as little impact as possible. The main structure will be fabricated off-site then lifted into place, reducing construction time. The Wildwood Trail will be closed for the duration of construction. West Burnside will have occasional lane closures for onsite work and will be closed entirely for 1-2 days in August when the bridge span is lifted into place. Other impacts will include removal of trees, a powerline relocation, and, for safety, decommissioning of the trail spurs between the footbridge and Burnside and the gravel turn-out on the south side of Burnside. Construction is scheduled to begin in late March with a targeted completion date of mid-September.

Here’s how to stay connected to the Barbara Walker Footbridge project:

About the project:

Website: www.portlandpf.org
Footbridge email list: sign up here
Twitter: @PDXParksFound
Facebook: PortlandParksFoundation

About traffic closures:

Twitter: @PBOTinfo
Facebook: PBOTinfo
Email updates: sign up here

December 18, 2018 Update - Progress towards Footbridge construction

Here’s the latest on progress toward making the Barbara Walker Footbridge a reality.

We’re almost ready to begin! In just a few more weeks we’ll give the go-ahead for construction! Here’s what you need to know:

  • 6:30 pm, Wednesday, January 23, 2019 PPF will host a public information meeting at the Oregon Zoo. We’ll outline the construction schedule beginning this winter, including impacts on West Burnside and the Wildwood Trail--all trail and arterial lane closures necessary for the bridge’s construction. More details and a reminder will be sent out in January.   Please join us! As we move into construction, PPF’s contractor will be doing all it can to minimize inconvenience to drivers and trail users while this beautiful work of design--and critical public safety measure—takes shape. As we know, great things seldom happen without a little sacrifice! Our deep thanks in advance for your patience.

  • In addition to the nearly $2.1 million in generous private donations for the Footbridge, the Portland City Council transferred  $1,050,000 of City and Metro funds on Dec. 5. These included $500,000 from Portland’s general fund, $350,000 in transportation Systems Development Charge funds from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), and $200,000 from Metro’s Open Space Bond Measure. Parks commissioner Nick Fish, past parks commissioner Amanda Fritz, and transportation commissioner Chloe Eudaly, along with their staff and their respective bureaus, have provided critical support—a true public/private partnership!

  • Staff at Portland Parks & Recreation and PBOT continue to work with the Foundation to finalize permits for the Footbridge.  PBOT issued notice to PGE that utility lines on the north side of West Burnside Street will have to be relocated for the bridge, and PGE has already convened its team to complete that work prior to beginning work on the Footbridge landings and supporting pylon.  

  • We are moving to a two-phase construction schedule. We will still break ground in February as planned to build the landings.  But due to our steel fabricator’s capacity and scheduling issues, we will lift the bridge into place a little later. The completed Footbridge is now slated to open in late summer.  We are still exploring the impacts of the new schedule on access to the Wildwood Trail near the construction site. We’ll have more details at the January public meeting.

Our continuing thanks go out to the community, our donors, our design and construction partners, the City, Metro, and all who have had a hand in this terrific project!

November 13, 2018 Update - "60% design" approval

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 - PPF incorporating comments from PP&R and PBOT

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 - Public works permitting process and design documents

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