New pedestrian bridge arrives in Umatilla

By on Monday, April 1st, 2024 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

UMATILLA (News release from the city of Umatilla) After more than five years, the city of Umatilla joyfully announced the arrival of the new Umatilla Pedestrian Bridge to town on Monday, March 25th. The more than $6.6 million project comes after the former bridge was wiped out by consecutive floods in 2019 and 2020.

The project is paid for primarily through FEMA provided funds of approximately $4.8 million, while the City will cover approximately $1.1 million and will receive help through Business Oregon’s Special Public Work’s Grant of more than $700,000. The bridge was manufactured by Bridge Brothers of Pickens, South Carolina and will be installed by Legacy Contracting. Inc. of Stayton, OR. An all-new water main and other utilities that were also damaged during the floods will also be hung from the bridge.

Of course, working in the Umatilla River requires careful planning and considerations with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Army Corps of Engineers, and several other project partners. Those associated permits allow for in-water work to begin May 6th by Legacy Contracting. Community members can expect to see a lot of activity during the spring and early-summer months at this site. Although the bridge may look like it is installed and ready for use this summer, it will remain closed to the public until the grand reopening of the bridge before the end of the year. This will provide crews with the time required to work within the permit parameters to install the utilities that are also part of this project. The Umatilla Pedestrian Bridge is a key component of the city’s infrastructure. It plays a vital role in our recreational trail systems, connects residents to schools and businesses, and helps meet the City’s multimodal transportation initiatives. The pedestrian bridge crosses the Umatilla River, linking the South Hill region to Downtown Umatilla.

“We are looking forward to completing this project and having a safe walking area for the public to access all parts of the City and to add to our recreational trails,” said Scott Coleman, Public Works Director.

In addition, the Pedestrian Bridge Project complements the Trail 2 Project which is currently underway and is expected to be completed before the end of June. This trail is part of the City’s Master Trail Plan and is a critical component of Umatilla County’s River Trail project. The $205,000 trail project is funded through a Recreation Trails Program grant, received in 2020, for $163,747 to construct a new segment of trail south of the Umatilla River. The newly improved trail will replace the existing trail with an ADA compliant accessible route while also reducing erosion and providing other natural resource improvements. Perhaps the best addition to the trail will be lighting installed along the path as well as benches, allowing residents and visitors alike to safely enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of the Umatilla River. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be scheduled to occur toward the end of the year. For more information about the Umatilla Pedestrian Bridge Project, the Trail 2 Project, and other city projects, we encourage you to visit our website at https://www.umatilla-