After budget scare, Parks says they’re committed to carfree bridge over Columbia Blvd

Drawing of bridge over N Columbia Blvd shared by Portland Parks bureau at an open house in 2020.
(Mapp: PP&R)

I have some very good news for anyone Portland who breathes: the Parks bureau says they’re committed to building a bridge over North Columbia Blvd at Chimney Park — a key element of the 40-Mile Loop and link in the North Portland Greenway that will connect St. Johns to Kelly Point Park and beyond.

Back in November, trail advocates were dismayed to learn that Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) claimed a $3-4 million funding shortfall meant they could only build a standard, at-grade crossing to get trail users over the busy, high-speed, industrial truck traffic on Columbia Blvd. The bridge had been planned for years, much of the funding had been secured, and design was well underway when the announcement was made.

The official shift in stance came via the City of Portland’s Freight Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday, February 1st. Portland Bureau of Transportation Resources Manager Mark Lear told committee members he talked to PP&R Trail Planning Manager Brett Horner and learned that he was “feeling pretty positive about a grant they’re going to apply for.”

Specifically, PP&R plans to apply for a grant through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal grant program administered by the State of Oregon.

Asked to confirm this news, a PP&R spokesperson told BikePortland today that, “Our staff have taken the necessary steps with ODOT [Oregon Department of Transportation] and Metro to resume the design effort and will continue looking for supplemental funding sources as the project moves forward.”

Stay tuned and watch the official project website for opportunities to support this project and provide feedback on the design.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Lenny Anderson
Lenny Anderson
2 months ago

Your graphic shows the immediate project area, but a larger view, extending from the Pier Park/Chimney Park bridge into and beyond the St Johns Prairie (aka Landfill), would be helpful for readers. The Columbia Blvd. Bridge is really the lynch pin for both 40 Mile Loop and N. Portland Greenway Trails in North Portland.

Aaron Brown
2 months ago

huzzah! great news.

Todd/Boulanger
Todd/Boulanger
2 months ago
Reply to  Aaron Brown

Don’t count your grant chickens before they lay!

Surly Ogre
Joe Bicycles
2 months ago

This bridge is an integral part of the trail project that PPR won money from METRO in 2022 https://www.portland.gov/parks/news/2022/10/18/ppr-receives-metro-funding-three-projects
The bridge is on the 2021-2024/26 METRO Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and is RTP ID 11640. see page 25 of the METRO TIP here: https://www.oregonmetro.gov/sites/default/files/2023/09/07/2021-2026-MTIP-Programming-083129.pdf

Fred
Fred
2 months ago

The utility of this crossing stands in stark contrast to the utter uselessness of the Red Electric Bridge in Hillsdale.

I’m still amazed the city spent $5M on it. Oh well.

Ted W
Ted W
2 months ago

I really wish they would also build a bridge over North Portlaand Road, between the Peninsula Crossing Trail and the Marine Drive Trail. I haven’t been there lately because this crossing really scares me.