Union Street Railroad Bridge Wins Engineering Award of Excellence
HDR Engineering and City of Salem Recognized
On January 13, 2010, Salem’s Union Street Railroad Bridge project received the 2010 Engineering Excellence Grand Award for Transportation from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon.
Trail connection designers, HDR Engineering, and the City of Salem attended the ceremony at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland. Salem Mayor Janet Taylor, City Manager Linda Norris, and Urban Development Project Coordinators Jill Corcoran and Todd Klocke accepted the award on behalf of the City.
The 1913 bridge across the Willamette River in downtown Salem has not been in rail service since the 1990s and the lift section has not functioned since the early 1980s. The bridge was purchased by the City of Salem in 2004 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2006.
Since the City purchased the bridge from Union Pacific, Salem officials have made the bridge an integral part of the City’s trail system, connecting businesses, parks and people on both sides of the river. In 2007, the City brought together a project team that included Barney & Worth, GRI, Heritage Research Associates, HLB & Associates, and Vigil-Agrimis, Inc. HDR Engineering was the team member tasked with actually designing the trail connection across the bridge. The bridge opened as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge on April 18, 2009.
Temporarily closed to complete repair and lead abatement funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the bridge has been well-received by residents and visitors and has become a key component in a larger plan to connect 1,300 acres of park land and 26 miles of trails and a picturesque part of the Salem skyline. Citing other cities where similar bridge projects have been undertaken, Salem officials predict the bridge will help spur economic development on both the west and east sides of the Willamette River. The bridge is scheduled to re-open in May 2010.
For more information on the Union Street Railroad Bridge, please refer to www.cityofsalem.net/unionbridge or call 503-588-6178.