Since 1975, a pedestrian connection between Minto Island and Downtown has been envisioned by the Urban Renewal Agency, City Council, and broader community. Since 2007, the City and Agency have taken steps to prepare for the Bridge and Trail, and conducted significant public outreach to raise awareness of the project.
In October 2010, City Council approved a tied arch Bridge design following analysis of several design types and public input. In 2012, OBEC was hired to oversee final design, engineering, and permitting of the Bridge and connecting Trail on Minto Island. In 2014 , the last funding needed for the Bridge and Trail was committed and design and permitting were complete. In January 2015, following a solicitation of bids, a recommendation to award was issued for Legacy Construction. The Groundbreaking Ceremony took place May 21, 2015.
The Minto Bridge and Trail are an adopted FY 13-15 City Council goal, and are identified in several supporting plans and policies, including the Riverfront Downtown Urban Renewal Area Plan, South Waterfront Urban Renewal Area Plan, Comprehensive Park System Master Plan, and the Salem Transportation System Plan (TSP).