Jan. 14, 2019, The French Prairie Bridge Task Force, an appointed advisory body charged with helping guide the French Prairie Bridge Project, recommended to City Council two signature bridge types for further consideration in early 2019. The new bridge is proposed to carry pedestrians, bicyclists and emergency vehicles across the Willamette River.
Task Force members recommended a suspension bridge and a cable-stayed bridge, opting out of the less-expensive, higher river impact, utilitarian bridge types or the highest cost bridge types under consideration.
Both the cable-stayed and suspension bridges are signature-type bridges with unique form that are not commonly constructed. The suspension bridge has pylons about half as tall as the cable-stayed bridge. The Task Force selected these bridge types because members said felt it is important to have a “statement” bridge in Wilsonville that would attract users and be something that the City is known for, which could stimulate economic growth. Members also appreciated the lack of permanent in-water impacts.
In making their recommendation, Task Force members considered comments from community members attending the meeting, results of community engagement efforts in the fall of 2018, as well as input from the Technical Advisory Committee. The Technical Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from the Oregon Department of Transportation, Clackamas County, Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, natural resource and other state and local agencies.
The Task Force will reconvene in the spring to help the project team narrow the two bridge types to one recommended type following additional evaluation on cost and design. A decision on one type will be made by City Council and the Clackamas Board of County Commissioners. This information will help refine the bridge cost and funding opportunities. For more information or to receive updates by email, please visit the project website.