Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)
1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204
Pier Park, established in 1920, is 87 acres. Chimney became a park in 1932 and is 16.7 acres. Connected together they offer more than 100 acres of recreational and nature opportunities.
Chimney and Pier parks are adjacent properties but separated by a 100-foot railroad right-of-way owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. The freight line is busy and services numerous businesses in north Portland. This state-funded project will construct a 100-foot plus bridge across the railroad gap allowing a pedestrian and bike connection between the two parks. The bridge is not only a critical connection between the two parks but it is also part of the regional 40-Mile Loop trail system and the North Portland Greenway Trail. Locally, the trail, when completed, will connect Cathedral Park to the Smith-Bybee natural area and Kelley Point Park.
This Transportation Enhancement grant was awarded to Metro and they will be the lead agency. However, the bridge is being constructed in two public parks and the facility will be transferred to PP&R for ownership. The two agencies will partner in the management of the project.
The design consultants considered many factors when locating the bridge. Those factors include: minimizing tree impacts, existing topography, compliance with ADA guidelines, bicycle safety standards, and railroad height clearances. To meet the clearance requirements over the railroad, the highest point in Pier Park was selected as the location for the bridge. Several path alignments to the bridge were considered – the one with the least impact to trees was selected. Unfortunately, this alternative required the removal of one sequoia. Other alternatives required removal of two or three sequoias. The loss of the sequoia is being mitigated with the planting of 34 2” caliper trees including sequoias, Douglas firs and Western Red Cedars.
There are no plans to remove any additional trees as part of the bridge project.
The bridge project will close a key gap in the North Willamette Greenway Trail. The project includes the design and construction of an approximately 120-ft bicycle/pedestrian bridge connecting Pier Park and Chimney Park in north Portland near Columbia Blvd.
Portland Parks & Recreation, Metro, ODOT, David Evans and Associates
Chimney Park is cut off from Pier Park by a narrow gully and a set of Union Pacific railroad tracks and can only be accessed from N. Columbia Blvd. The bridge will provide a critical connection from the park to the rest of St Johns as well as to Smith and Bybee Lakes and completed segments of the 40-Mile Loop Trail. The nearly $1.7 million bridge has been planned since 2009. It was funded by a federal grant and $220,000 from the City of Portland.