Barbara Walker Crossing
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.
- Top Projects – 1st Place Transportation, Daily Journal of Commerce
- Transportation & People’s Choice Award, CODAworx International
- Landscape/Urban Design Award of Merit, ENR Northwest
ON THE BLOG
Materials incorporated in the construction of this unique truss bridge included galvanized steel, weathering steel, a fiberglass decking system, and a stainless-steel mesh protective barrier that was manufactured in Germany. Fabrication was completed off site by Supreme Steel in NE Portland in careful coordination with R&H and KPFF Structural Engineers. BIM software Revit aided in calculating and evaluating each of the complicated node connections of the truss.
Once fabrication was complete, the 180-foot structure was transported into three sections, weighing 5.5 tons, 8 tons and 10 tons each, and delivered to the site via NW Barnes Road. This route required a precisely calculated traverse through a historic tunnel with extremely tight clearance on all sides for the bridge. Once at the trailhead, the sections were craned into place and welded together over the course of five days.