The City of Salem and Salem’s Urban Renewal Agency (Agency) have been working toward a long-standing community vision of connecting three major urban parks, and more than twenty miles of trails via two pedestrian bridges over the Willamette River.
In 2009, part of this goal was realized with the renovation of the historic Union Street Railroad Bridge, connecting West Salem’s Wallace Marine Park with downtown’s Riverfront Park. Completion of the Minto Island Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge (Bridge) and adjoining multimodal trail (Trail) is the last critical link to Downtown Parks Connections. Visit the Minto Island Acquisition page for more information.
In 2008, a concept-design study considered several Bridge design options. In October 2010, City Council approved a tied arch Bridge design concept with a 14 foot wide deck. In December 2010, an easement agreement was executed to allow construction of the Bridge and Trail landing across the privately-owned Minto Island. In 2011, an agreement was reached to secure access across the Willamette Slough. In 2012, OBEC was hired to oversee final design, engineering, and permitting of the Bridge and connecting Trail on Minto Island.
The Minto Bridge and Trail are an adopted FY 12-13 Council goal and identified in several supporting plans and policies, including the Riverfront Downtown Urban Renewal Area Plan, South Waterfront Urban Renewal Area Plan, Comprehensive Park System Master Plan, and the Salem Transportation System Plan (TSP).
Annie Gorski 503.540.2480
Design & Permitting: OBEC Consulting Engineers was hired, through a competitive process, to complete the bridge design, perform needed studies, and apply for permits. Initial surveying, site investigations, and conceptual design of the bridge and trail were completed the summer of 2012. The next phase, 60 percent design, concluded in April 2013. In June the City Council and Urban Renewal Agency granted authority to proceed with final design and submit the required permits for the project.
Minto Bridge and Trail Funding Update: The Minto Bridge and Trail project is becoming possible because of funding from a variety of federal, state, and local sources, including from the Riverfront Downtown and Waterfront Urban Renewal Areas, Salem Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS), Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Business Oregon, and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). To date, approximately $8,400,000 in funding has been secured for the Bridge, connecting Trail on Minto Island, and connecting improvements to a trail corridor in Minto Brown Park. This funding completes that needed for the Minto Trail and corridor through Minto Park, but up to additional $1,581,000 is needed for the Minto Bridge. To fill that gap, the City requested up to $1,581,000 in ODOT Enhance It funding last fall. In August, the Mid Willamette Valley Area Commission on Transportation (MWACT) recommended that the $1,581,000 for the Minto Bridge be funded through the Enhance It Program. The Oregon Transportation Commission is expected to review and approve Enhance It recommendations, including for the Minto Bridge, in November.
The City will proceed with final design and permitting of the projects this fall. Refinements to the final budget for the project will follow.
Bridge and Trail Conceptual Designs
The Friends of Two Bridges (F2B) is a non-profit grassroots group dedicated to the construction of the Minto Island Bridge and the Union Street Railroad Bridge. The group is raising awareness for the Minto Island Bridge and fund-raising for the project. Additional information can be found in the links below.