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Installation of Delta Ponds bridge

Crews with the city installed a new 100-foot-long bridge over some of the Delta Ponds wetlands on January 25. Philip Richardson, a landscape architect with the city’s Parks and Open Space Department, noted that it is just one part of an effort to improve and open up the natural space.

“The loop trail project itself is upwards of, I think, four years—it was pre-pandemic, and that was one of the reasons why it’s taken a while,” he said. “But Delta Ponds, itself, this is a kind of a culmination of about 30 years’ worth of planning and implementation. So it’s a big deal, we’re very excited about it.”

The bridge is part of a project to create a continuous loop around Delta Ponds, including a boardwalk, some retaining walls, and a trail. Funding for the bridge came from the city’s 2018 parks and recreation bond, system development charges, and a $350,000 grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Richardson said Delta Ponds is “maybe our biggest habitat improvement effort that the city’s done. The project also consisted of other work to improve the space for wildlife. It’s well-known for people coming out and looking at birds—and there’s turtles and beaver. But it’s right in the middle of Eugene, and it’s within walking distance of a ton of people—so we’re very excited about it.”

While the bridge may have been put into place, the other side of the trail is still under construction. Richardson said it will be a while before the entire project is complete and open to parkgoers. Although the bridge is in, the boardwalk that it connects to on the east side is not done yet, so the bridge will be closed off until the completion of that boardwalk. He expects the complete loop will open by summer.

Condensed and lightly edited from a news report by KEZI reporter/producer/anchor Albert James with photo by Billy Hanning.