Peter Courtney Minto Island Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge

The Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge and Trail is the last critical link in connecting 1,200 acres of parks and more than 20 miles of off-street trails between south Salem, downtown, and West Salem. When combined, this acreage is larger than New York City’s Central Park.

© David Barker

​​This pedestrian and bicycle bridge and the adjoining trail connect three riverfront parks in Historic Downtown Salem:

More than 20 miles of trails for walking, running and biking allow residents and tourists to explore Salem’s riverfront and downtown. The project complements the Historic Union Street Railroad Bridge renovation.


Free visitor parking is available in the downtown parkades and the Riverfront Park and Minto-Brown Island Park parking lots.

​Project costs

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.

Project benefits

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. 


  • 1975​—A vision to connect Minto Island and Downtown with a pedestiran bridge emerged.
  • 2007​—Public outreach to raise awareness of the project began.
  • 2010​—The City Council approved a tied arch Bridge design.
  • 2012​—OBEC Consulting Engineers hired to oversee the final design, engineering, and permitting of the Bridge and connecting Trail on Minto Island.
  • 2014​—The last funding needed for the Bridge and Trail was committed and design and permitting were complete. 
  • January 2015​—A recommendation to award was issued for Legacy Construction.  
  • May 21, 2015​—Groundbreaking Ceremony.
  • August 2, 2017​—Opening Celebration.

The bridge’s design is unique to Oregon and will help shape Salem’s image, skyline, and waterfront for years to come. This distinction has earned the bridge the following awards:

  •  2017 Project of the Year in the Structures Category for 5-million to 25-million dollar projects selected by the American Publics Works Association Oregon Chapter.

​Counting traffic on the bridge allows the City to track changes in how the bridge is used and to plan infrastructure improvements.

Daily counts

Contact us

Annie GorskiEconomic Development ManagerUrban Development Department
Mailing address:
350 Commercial ST NE
Salem OR 97301
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