Weigh in on the design of the future (carfree!) French Prairie Bridge

Pick a bridge, any bridge.

Whenever a carfree bridge over the Willamette River is being built in our region, it’s worth knowing about — especially when that bridge is the lynchpin that will someday connect 1,000 miles of paths and trails in the Portland region with the 134-mile Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.

I’m talking about the French Prairie Bridge project. And it’s time to do some bridge shopping.


It’s been nearly six years since we reported on one of the grants that helped fund this project. As we shared back then, the City of Wilsonville sees the bridge not just as a way to connect people to the Willamette Valley, but as way to boost tourism and economic development. Wilsonville is currently smack-dab in the middle of a 30-mile gap of surface street crossings of the Willamette River.

(Graphic: City of Wilsonville)

People in the Portland area who want to reach the Willamette Valley (and the great bikecamping destination of Champoeg State Park), have to cross the river at Oregon City or Newberg. Having a safe crossing at Wilsonville will be a major improvement. The bridge will also hasten development of the Ice Age Tonquin Trail which will eventually connect Wilsonville to Tualatin via the Fanno Creek Trail.

The City of Wilsonville is nearing the end of a two-year planning phase. With an alignment chosen and money in the bank for development, all that’s left to do is decide on the bridge type — and then build it!

The online open house is going on now through October 30th and your feedback is needed. There are five designs under consideration and there’s a great open house page that has all the details on each one to help you share informed feedback. All the designs will come with a 17-foot wide shared path. Final design will be selected in Spring 2019.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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