News Riding

Union Street Railroad Bridge Grand Opening on Saturday!

Statesman Journal photo by Tim Gonzalez.
Statesman Journal photo by Tim Gonzalez.

Over the weekend, I was getting tweets and Facebook updates from friends who had just “used the new bridge to get to downtown,” or who had “just run across the new bridge!” And although many people have already started using the new pedestrian bridge that crosses the Willamette river and connects parks on both sides, the official grand opening is scheduled for this Saturday, April 18. is an official sponsor of the event which starts at 10 am Saturday at the Riverfront park. You can find event details at the Friends of 2 Bridges blog. PacificPedaling team members will be at the event during the celebration as well, so please feel free to stop in and say hey! There will be a lot going on at the event, much of which is summarized in the blog post linked above:

The ceremony will feature music by the 234th Army Band and presentations by Salem Mayor Janet Taylor, Senator Peter Courtney, Senator Jackie Winters, Congressman Schrader’s Field Representative for Marion County, Jon Pugsley, Councilor Dan Clem, and Friends of Two Bridges Chair, Hazel Patton.

A formal ribbon cutting will follow the presentations and then the inaugural bridge parade will begin. The bridge parade will be led by the North Salem Color Guard and will feature Mayor Janet Taylor on the SANYO electric hybrid eneloop bike, followed by the 234th Army Band.

Event attendees will be joined by local mascots, including A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village’s “Bubble Girl,” Salem’s Riverfront Carousel’s “Ambassador,” and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoe’s “Crater” to complete the procession across the bridge. Following the parade, attendees will enjoy cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, and family activities in Wallace Marine Park.

In addition, local businesses will be offering special opportunities for attendees in honor of this momentous occasion: The Willamette Queen Sternwheeler will be offering a 9:45 a.m. Union Street Railroad Bridge Ribbon Cutting Cruise for $5.00 per person; A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village will be hosting a FREE day for families from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Dragon Boat Club representatives will be available at the docks in Riverfront Park to answer questions about the boats and club involvement; and Downtown and West Salem merchants will be open for Saturday shopping and meals.

Hope to see you there!