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!