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Barbara Walker Footbridge Over Burnside Nears Construction Phase

News Article
January 23, 2019 public information session on the Barbara Walker Footbridge over West Burnside
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Randy Gragg, Portland Parks Foundation, 503-445-0994

January 23, 2019 public information session on the Barbara Walker Footbridge over West Burnside

The long-awaited safety solution to one of the region’s most perilous road crossings—the Barbara Walker Footbridge Over Burnside connecting Forest Park’s Wildwood Trail—will begin construction in February. On January 23, the Portland Parks Foundation will host an important information session on the bridge: it’s design and engineering, and the impacts construction will have on users of the Wildwood Trail and West Burnside.

Public Meeting Details
Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Oregon Zoo, Conservation Hall (located in the Education Center)
4001 SW Canyon Road*

*To avoid traffic congestion, consider taking Tri-Met’s MAX light rail (Red or Blue Line) or Tri-Met Bus Line 63 to the Washington Park MAX Station.

Developed by the Portland Parks Foundation in a private/public partnership with the City of Portland and Metro, the $3.15-million bridge will connect the Wildwood Trail over West Burnside. It will allow the 80,000 hikers and runners who use the trail each year to safely pass over the 18,000 drivers who use West Burnside every day while adding an architecturally stunning new feature to Forest Park’s landscape.

The two-phase construction will begin in February and be completed by late summer. If you use the Wildwood Trail or West Burnside—or just want to learn more about the bridge—please join us. The Wildwood Trail stretches over 30 miles from Washington Park to the farthest, northwestern end of Forest Park. Trail users have lobbied for decades for a safe crossing of ever-busier West Burnside. In 2014 the Portland Parks Foundation took on the project, advocating for the high-quality work of design the setting deserves.

Designed by nationally renowned, Portland-based artist Ed Carpenter and to be named for the late urban parks and trails advocate Barbara Walker, the bridge quickly became one of the region’s greatest grassroots private public partnerships. PPF raised $2.1 million from nearly 1,000 donors across metropolitan Portland. The City of Portland directed $500,000 from Portland’s general fund and $350,000 in transportation Systems Development Charge funds from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). Metro allocated $200,000 from its 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. Including R&H Construction, kpff, Inc., Walker Macy, and Shiels Obletz Johnsen, PPF’s design/construction team has also contributed thousands of dollars in pro bono services.

The Portland Parks Foundation’s public meeting will be an opportunity to learn more about the bridge’s design, engineering, and construction along with the trail and arterial lane closures necessary for its completion. As we move into the construction phase, PPF’s contractor will be doing all it can to minimize inconvenience to drivers and trail users while we complete this critical piece of public safety infrastructure—and work of public art.

About Portland Parks Foundation
The Portland Parks Foundation is devoted to building a thriving and accessible parks system for a healthy, sustainable, and creative Portland. We are the chief philanthropic partner for Portland Parks & Recreation. Through leadership, partnership, and philanthropy, we advance the City of Portland’s commitment to excellence, equity, inclusion, and good stewardship of our public parks. We have played key roles in the creation of Director Park, the Bill Naito Legacy Fountain, the Gateway Green Master Plan, and the Dawson Park interactive fountain, as well as raising funds for the recently opened Cully Park. PPF also provides technical assistance and financial support to parks affiliates and friends groups.