After nearly three years of concentrated planning and development, the much-anticipated pedestrian bridge connecting the Wildwood Trail over West Burnside came to realization in 2019. The Barbara Walker Crossing was crafted to carry the 80,000 hikers and runners who use the Wildwood Trail each year over a tragedy long waiting to happen: the dangerous at-grade crossing on West Burnside. The new bridge provides a safe connection between two of the Wildwood Trail’s most popular destinations, Hoyt Arboretum and the Pittock Mansion. An average 400 people each weekend day crossed Burnside before the bridge; 2,000 cross it today.
Designed by nationally renowned, Portland-based artist Ed Carpenter, the crossing is intended to blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings. Featuring a walking surface crafted of unique fiberglass panels, the 180-foot bridge curves over Burnside with a 150-foot radius. The sides of the bridge are highlighted by striking green branches that resemble ferns and evergreen needles, and over time the unpainted steel will seal itself with an earthy reddish-brown rust color, further integrating it into its surroundings.