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  • Team Effort Leads to Award for Salem Railroad Bridge
    Photo courtesy of Obec
    A team effort that included ODOT, City of Salem, Oregon State Parks, local advocates, consultants and contractors helped Salem's Union Street Railroad Bridge win a prestigious national award.

    The bridge received a 2010 Transportation Planning Excellence Award in the Livability/Sustainability category from the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration. The award was presented on July 11 at the Transportation Research Board's joint summer meeting in Minnesota. The award highlights the collaborative and innovative efforts of ODOT, City of Salem, Oregon Parks and Recreation and the Salem community.

    This is just one of multiple awards the bridge has received. The bridge also received the Oregon Heritage Award and the Engineering Excellence Award. More on those awards and pictures from the opening day can be viewed at: The City of Salem web site.

    "There were many people who put in many hours to complete this wonderful project. We also want to thank the elected officials for their support along the way," said Pat Rogers Fisher, Program Manager for ODOT's Statewide Programs Unit. "We are very proud of the fact that it was chosen from among 90 nominations."

    The structure was transformed from a 100-year old railroad bridge to a new passage over the Willamette River for bicycles and pedestrians. It was opened by the City of Salem in 2009 and has been a popular attraction with local citizens and tourists.

    Engineering innovations and unique design elements were utilized to maintain the bridge's structural integrity while retaining its historical features and character. The construction elements included timber trestle rehabilitation, precast concrete deck panels for the truss and trestle, pedestrian railings, lighting and lead paint encapsulation.

    ODOT's Transportation Enhancement Program provided $600,000 for design, $1 million for construction, an additional $415,000 when costs rose, and $3.5 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds.

    "The bridge provides a critical half-mile link in the bicycle and pedestrian circulation systems for the community of West Salem, downtown, the region and the state," said Fisher.
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