Bridge Ban Dies | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Bridge Ban Dies 

HB 4029 never made it out of the Ways and Means Committee during the short session

The possibility of a pedestrian bridge over the Deschutes south of town could still be alive, after HB 4029 died when the 2018 short Legislative session in Salem ended March 3.

The bill, which would have barred any person, public body or local service district from building a bridge on the Deschutes River within certain areas of the Deschutes River Scenic Waterway, passed the House and was forwarded to the Ways and Means Committee, where it ultimately died.

Bend Park and Recreation District Executive Director Don Horton said in an interview with KTVZ that the district's goal is to find a way to connect people to the trail area south of Bend, and that a bridge is needed, but he's open to a planning process that would bring in local agencies, including environmental groups.

Julie Brown, BPRD's communications and community relations manager, said a third-party facilitator will lead the effort to form a committee of individuals and groups that have expressed interest in participating in the process.

"We're still hoping for a balanced solution that doesn't involve weakening river protections or damaging wildlife habitat," Oregon Wild's Erik Fernandez told the Source. "We hope we can put the controversy of the bridge proposal behind us and find a trail connection that our entire community can be excited about."

Horton said if local stakeholders can find an alternative route, the district is open to ideas, according to KTVZ.

Rep. Gene Whisnant, R-Sunriver, who sponsored a similar bill last year, and Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, have both opposed any type of bridge in the area of the Deschutes Scenic Waterway. However, both are leaving the legislature following this session. Buehler is running on the Republican ticket for governor, while Whisnant has decided not to seek re-election.

"We have only one Deschutes River, there is no backup river," Fernandez said. "We have a responsibility to be good stewards of the river and the wildlife that depend on it."

"We look forward to a local conversation about how to best balance environmental concerns, recreation access, and connectivity," Brown said. "This decision is too important to be taken from Central Oregon."

Pin It

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • My Marvelous Mentors

    My Marvelous Mentors

    Jim Anderson pens a farewell to readers
    • Aug 26, 2020
  • Buying A House in a Pandemic

    Buying A House in a Pandemic

    Low interest rates, less competition between buyers and a looming metropolitan exodus makes now a good time to buy a house, realtors say
    • Apr 10, 2020
Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Menorah Lighting

Menorah Lighting - Center Plaza at the Old Mill District

Sun., Nov. 28, 4 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Local News

More by Chris Miller

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation