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.
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. We are ready!
The Minto Bridge and Trail are an adopted FY 11-12 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, the Salem Transportation System Plan (TSP), and the Salem Vision 2020 Action Plan.
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 will conclude in April, 2013.
Funding: To date, the Urban Renewal Agency has allocated a total of approximately $5,100,000 from the Riverfront and South Waterfront Urban Renewal Areas for design and construction of the Bridge and Trail. An additional $1,080,000 in Agency funding is proposed in the Riverfront Downtown URA FY 13-14 budget to support Bridge construction. In 2012, three state grants were secured, including:
- $500,000 for the Bridge (Salem Keizer Area Transportation Study Policy Committee)
- $876,460 for the Trail and connecting improvements in Minto Brown Park (ODOT)
- $60,000 for environmental assessment activities to support the Bridge and Trail (Business Oregon, Brownfields Redevelopment Fund).
The funding identified completes that necessary to build the Trail on Minto Island. To obtain the remaining approximately $1,500,000 needed for the Bridge staff continue to apply for grants and to coordinate with community partners to support private fund-raising, including the Friends of Two Bridges.
In October, the Salem Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS) Policy Committee awarded $500,000 for the construction of the Minto Bridge. In November, a $876,460 Transportation Alternatives Program gant was received from the Oregon Department of Transportation to fund Minto Trail construction and improvements to connecting trails in Minto Brown Island Park. This, plus previously committed South Waterfront Urban Renewal Area funding, completes the funding needed for the Trail.
Want to Get Involved?
The Friends of Two Bridges (F2B) is a non-profit grassroots group dedicated to the design and construction of the Minto Island Bridge and the Union Street Railroad Bridge. The group is also raising awareness for the Minto Island Bridge and gathering support for funding the project. For more information about Friends of Two Bridges: http://friends2bridges.blogspot.com/
Contact: Hazel Patton at email@example.com to learn more about the Friends or to be added to the e-mail roster.