Making a new pedestrian connection
A new pedestrian bridge now connects the north side of Ochoco Creek to Stryker Park and the Kiwanis Splash Pad in Prineville.
The bridge is part of the Elm Street Bridge Project.
"When we started down the process of the Elm Street Bridge, being ODOT funds and being government, we had a requirement that is called the temporary pedestrian route requirement," said Scott Smith, street supervisor for the city of Prineville.
He said that when the city takes a pedestrian route out of service, such as when the Elm Street bridge was dug out — they must provide a replacement pedestrian route.
"That is what got us to thinking about a pedestrian bridge across Ochoco Creek," he said.
Initially, the city looked at a temporary bridge, which was not cost-effective.
"We started exploring the idea of a permanent bridge, and we worked with Oregon Department of Transportation and if it would fit within the grant money we got from ODOT," Smith said.
Moving forward, ODOT was on board with the proposal, given the new Kiwanis Splash Pad that recently went into service at Stryker Park and the future home of the new Creation Station.
"It just all kind of fell into place that this would be an ideal spot to have another pedestrian crossing that blended all those things together," said Smith.
He explained that during the bidding process for Elm Street Bridge, the city had the contractor include a premanufactured pedestrian bridge.
Mike Ward, inspector for Anderson Perry Engineering, indicated that they were the project engineers for the Elm Street Bridge and Ochoco Pedestrian Bridge.
"It has been a great project," said Ward.
"Everything fell within our budgets that we had, so we went ahead and moved forward with that," Smith said.
The bridge is premanufactured, with weathered steel and a concrete deck. It is 80 feet from end to end across the creek. The bridge itself was $46,000 and funds came out of the original Elm Street Bridge budget.
The bridge is 8 feet wide so that Crook County Parks and Recreation and the city of Prineville can maintain the bike path, but a full-size car cannot access the bridge.
Getting the bridge to its location in Prineville was delayed when the truck that was moving it got stuck on the freeway in Wyoming due to the snow and 80 mile-per-hour winds. Although the project was expected to be complete by the end of November, the pedestrian bridge is in place but will not be accessible until close to Christmas. The asphalt for the bike path will be done in the spring, and Smith said they will be pouring the concrete walkway on the south side within the next week.
"It will just blend everything — it will be a new connection over to the (Kiwanis) Splash Pad," Smith said. "I'm really excited. It's in place. It will be a nice addition."
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