The $10 million project funding came from federal, state, and local resources as well as the Riverfront Downtown and South Waterfront Urban Renewal Areas, Salem Keizer Area Transportation Study (SKATS), Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Business Oregon, and the Department of Transportation.
Links parks and employment
- Significant amenity for Downtown employers. Important for attracting and maintaining employees.
- Added enhancement for downtown travel on foot or bike at lunchtime or after work.
Increases value of homes in the area
- 2011 National Homebuyers Association survey cited access to parks and recreational trails as the #2 factor for homebuyers.
- 2008 CEOs for Cities study found that homes located in areas with above average walk and bikeability are worth more than $34,000 more than homes located in areas with average walk and bikeability.
- Residents and employers value access to parks and recreation as an important community asset.
Added attraction for Downtown visitors
- Provides another attraction for people visiting Downtown for shopping, dining, parks, or attending events at Salem Conference Center.
- Additional recreational opportunities increase demand for local bicycle and running equipment, retail, services, and restaurants close by.
- Other cities report that shoppers arriving by foot or bike make more frequent stops and return often, since they don't have to struggle to find parking.
Recreational events and tourism
- Miles of connecting trails along waterways and through parks offers opportunities for marathons and recreational events, which contribute to new investment in Downtown.
- Visitor dollars strengthen the local economy, supporting 6,220 jobs and generating $2.5M in local tax revenues.
- Oregon's Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway will be re-routed over the bridge and trail. Enhancements are likely to expand ridership along this popular statewide route.
Image and identity
- The bridge's design is unique to Oregon, and will help shape Salem's image, skyline, and waterfront for years to come.
- The project complements the Historic Union Street Railroad Bridge renovation.
- The bridge and trail and efforts to pursue funding for the acquisition of Minto Island are consistent with the Willamette River Legacy Program. The program aims to improve river access, expand parks in the Willamette Greenway, and build upon efforts to enhance this former industrial site for passive recreation, wildlife viewing, and habitat restoration.