River Road Santa Clara Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge
What is the project?
This project explores the feasibility of constructing a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Beltline Highway, connecting the Santa Clara and River Road neighborhoods.
Who is paying for this project?
Eugene has received funding from the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a bridge location and feasibility study. The study will look at where a bicycle and pedestrian bridge might go, how a bridge would connect to surrounding streets, and estimate bridge construction costs.
Why River Road and Santa Clara?
The main walking and bicycling connection between the Santa Clara neighborhood and the rest of Eugene is at River Road where it crosses underneath Beltline. Walking and biking at this undercrossing is uncomfortable and feels unsafe to a lot of users, discouraging people from walking and biking to and from the Santa Clara neighborhood, along the River Road corridor, and connecting to other areas of Eugene. A bicycle and pedestrian bridge connecting the River Road and Santa Clara neighborhoods would give community members a dedicated and comfortable way to cross Beltline on bike and foot.
A bicycle and pedestrian bridge across Beltline could be especially impactful for North Eugene High School students. Half of North Eugene High School’s 1,080 students (2022-2023 enrollment) live north of Beltline. If these students want to walk or bike to and from class, they must use the River Road undercrossing. A bicycle and pedestrian bridge across Beltline would provide students who walk and bike to and from school a safer and more comfortable alternative to the current River Road undercrossing.
Why are we working on this project?
The City of Eugene is committed to a goal of zero traffic deaths and life altering injuries, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and providing more transportation options to all community members. Constructing a bicycle and pedestrian bridge linking the River Road and Santa Clara neighborhoods moves the city a step closer to meeting all of those goals.
The bridge is in the Eugene 2035 Transportation System Plan, is the highest-ranking project for the regional Safe Routes to School program (half of all North Eugene High School students live north of Beltline) and is in both the draft River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan and draft River Road-Santa Clara Action Plan.
What’s the timeline?
- 2020 – 2022: First bridge location study conducted
- 2024: Second, more detailed, bridge location and feasibility study (planned)
- 2025 and onward: To be determined
How can I be involved?
- Share your hopes, concerns, ideas, and questions about the project with city staff. We are interested in hearing from community members, especially those adjacent to Beltline! Email Catherine Rohan at email@example.com.
- Sign up for emailed project updates by contacting Catherine Rohan at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll let you know when there are in person and virtual events to learn about the project and provide input!
Where would a future bridge be located?
We don’t yet know exactly where a future bicycle and pedestrian bridge might go. The northern side of the bridge would likely connect to Ruby Avenue between Leyton Lane and Lenore Loop. The southern side of the bridge would likely connect to either Skipper Avenue, Grove Street, Sterling Court, or Sterling Drive.
The city will need to purchase property on the south side of Beltline to provide access to the bridge. The city intends to work with homeowners to find a willing seller.
What are the next steps?
The city has planned a second, more detailed, bridge location and feasibility study to take place in 2024. What we learn from the second study will help inform what happens next. In the meantime, the city is applying for grants to build the bicycle and pedestrian bridge.
What’s the funding situation?
Eugene has received funding from the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a bridge location and feasibility study, described above. Money for this study was set aside in 2021, during an update to Central Lane Metropolitan Planning Organization’s fiscal year 2021-2024 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program.
In late 2022, the city found out it will be receiving $6 million for the River Road Santa Clara Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge from the omnibus spending bill passed by the federal government. Funding was allocated from the national spending bill thanks in large part to the efforts of retiring Representative Peter DeFazio. This $6 million will help cover part of the cost for a bicycle and pedestrian bridge, which is estimated to cost between $12 and $18 million dollars.
How do I share questions, concerns, and thoughts about the project?
Email Catherine Rohan at email@example.com.
How will you get community engagement?
We have not yet created a community engagement plan for this project. A community engagement plan will be created later in the process if the project moves forward.