The Bend Parks and Rec Board Will Oppose a Bill that Prohibits a Deschutes River Bridge
At a meeting of the Bend Park & Recreation District Board on Tuesday night, members made it clear that they will try to stop the passage of House Bill 4029, which would effectively ban any future footbridges across the Deschutes River.
The board felt that the bill would shut down any conversation within the community about the potential recreation and transportation benefits a bridge connecting the Deschutes River Trail could bring.
“Our concern is, and what we’ve been saying all along, is we need a very broad community discussion,” said board member Ted Schoenborn. “This legislation effectively shuts down any conversation in the community.”
Schoenborn will head to Salem on Thursday to testify against House Bill 4029, and the board hopes to potentially bring together the community, Parks and Rec board, State Parks, Forest Service, recreation organizations and conservation organizations to continue discussions about the bridge.
The proposed bridge, which was approved by Bend voters as part of a bond measure in 2012, would cross the Deschutes River near Bend’s southern boundary and would effectively connect the Deschutes River Trail all the way from Tumalo to Sunriver.