▶️ Hixon Bridge: Loss of a Landmark, A Win for Nature & Shevlin Park

The serenity of Shevlin Park. Disrupted by the sounds of demolition.

At this job sight 6-year-old Oz Drewsen and his mom Courtney are getting lesson in hurry up and wait.

“It’s always fun to watch construction in your backyard,” Courtney said.

But this isn’t just any project.

“This is a destination for a lot of people,” said Mike Johnson.

Nestled back in one of Bend’s signature green spaces, the Hixon Bridge served as a way to cross Tumalo Creek.

“It looked really old.”

But not historic.

“You know I think it’s more accurate to call this a sentimental piece of our community’s history,” said Julie Brown, Communications and Community Relations Manager for Bend Parks and Recreation.

Because this covered bridge was built as a movie prop for the 1993 children’s movie Homeward Bound.

“Yeah I was only born in 2008 so,” said Corbin Johnson.

Not quite a blockbuster for kids today.

“Prom photos and family photos taken under it, I think those memories are what people are really sentimental about and that is understandable,” said Brown.

“We would bring our boys down here quite a bit to bike ride, now I’m here with my grandson,” Mike Johnson said.

“Covered bridges are always fun, but it’s OK, this one if it really had a historical value it would be more sad, but it is kinda cool it was in a movie,” said Courtney Drewsen.

The footings once held a railroad trestle built by the Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company in 1930 and used for nearly 30 years, before being dismantled.

The company then built the bridge deck for access to a picnic area on the east side of the creek.

After its Hollywood debut 26 years ago it had fallen into disrepair.

“It was prohibitively expensive to replace it. “

Access around a bridge just downstream will be improved. And the waterway will be enhanced.

“By removing those abutments it will widen that stretch allow the stream to go around the corner in a more natural fashion as well as lowing the opposite side restoring that flood plain aspect.”

While it is a loss of a landmark, it’s a win for nature and the park.

“This project is going to improve a lot of accessibility so more members can enjoy the park.”

“ I don’t think it will make the park any less enjoyable.”

“So we’ll still be able to enjoy the park here.”

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