Those of you that run the Wildwood Trail between Washington Park and Pittock Mansion are no doubt waiting excitedly for the Barbara Walker Footbridge to be built. This long-anticipated bridge will allow pedestrians to safely cross West Burnside without having to dodge vehicles or even break your stride.
Led by the Portland Parks Foundation, this project is the result of bringing together private and public entities in the area. Featuring a design by Oregonian artist Ed Carpenter, the bridge’s installation is scheduled for August 2019. The span of the footbridge will be constructed off-site and then lifted into place, closing West Burnside completely for 1-2 days. In addition to establishing footings above trailheads on both sides of the road, there are a few trees that have to be removed and a power line that needs to be relocated.
“Portlanders love trails and they love bridges,” says Randy Gragg, the new director of Portland Parks Foundation. “Ed Carpenter’s thoughtful design connects two our great civic urban traditions to make an experience hikers, runners, and drivers can love together.”
In order to prepare for the construction and bridge installation, there will be other temporary closures of parts of the trail linking Hoyt Arboretum and Pittock Mansion between late March and mid-September. If you run on this stretch of Wildwood regularly, I’d suggest signing up for email updates so you’re not caught off guard. You can sign up to receive future updates on the construction here.
Two-thirds of the funding for this project came from private donations – including many by Run Oregon readers – thank you for that! More than 900 individuals raised mover than $2.1 million dollars towards the total price tag of $3.14 million-dollar project. Other groups that donated as part of the original crowdfunding include Go Beyond Racing, the Rose City Track Club, the Bowerman Track Club, and someone listed as “Anonymous Jogger.” You can still donate, too! While your name won’t be on the list of initial donators, the contributions will go towards any additional costs as they arise and fund the ongoing maintenance. And if you’re feeling especially generous, there’s still time to get your name on the bridge’s recognition plaque for those that donated $5,000 or more!