A bicycle and pedestrian bridge using Hawthorne Avenue was a topic of discussion at Wednesday’s Bend City Council meeting. The bridge would span over U.S. 97 and the railroad tracks near 1st Street.
“There’s a lot of north-south barriers for people to be able to get across town. The river’s one of them. The Parkway. The railroad. So this concept was kind of birthed out of that to try to find a safe way for bikes and peds to get across town,” City of Bend Engineering Director Ryan Oster said.
Options of different bridge structures were presented to council, where they narrowed down that list of concepts to three finalists.
“They all vary in maintenance requirements and cost and how they’ll fit into the future,” said Principal Engineer for City of Bend Garrett Saber. “Land use considerations in the core area of town. Ultimately, Council wanted us to take a look at a low, medium and high-cost bridge type with with consideration of the funding that we have available.”
The styles chosen include the cable-stayed bridge, the extradosed and the steel trussed.
“So this is identified as a location to provide somewhere with better connectivity, better safety, and just help continue to invest in those alternative modes of transportation in the city of Bend,” said Saber.
“There’s pretty dramatic cost variations depending on if you want to go simple, kind of straight forward, maybe not as aesthetically pleasing, compared to a more iconic bridge that people will recognize,” Oster said.
Once the three finalists are further developed, they will be brought back to city council in April. Community input on the designs will be requested soon after.
The city has budgeted around $26 million for the bridge; some designs will cost less, and some will cost more.
The city received grant funding from both the state and the feds, which came close to paying for all of it.
“Some of them, it looks like we’ll fall relatively close to that,” said Saber. “So they’re trying to limit the potential for local funding that would need to be included,” Saber said.
The city says it hopes to start construction by the end of 2027.