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.
Councilors listen to a staff presentation on the project. (Words and photos by Patrick Croasdaile)
At their work session last night, the Wilsonville City Council voted to accept a $1.25 million federal grant to perform a feasibility study on the French Prairie Bike-Ped Emergency Bridge over the Willamette River. As we shared last week, this was a crucial step in this project’s evolution and it wasn’t a sure thing. In the end, it seems like the potential bike tourism this bridge would make possible is what made councilors comfortable with voting yes.
When the topic of tourism came up at the meeting, Councilor Richard Goddard said that it had changed the conversation about the bridge and allowed him to think about the bridge as a different kind of asset. Council President Celia Nuñez was also supportive of the grant. “[This bridge] gives us an economic development opportunity,” she said, “and allows tourism dollars to pour into the community”. She continued, “if we can be visionary enough to expand transportation options for the city, then that is right on spot.”[Read more…]