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!