The Lake Oswego City Council passed a motion Thursday to withdraw from any planning or funding of a bicycle and pedestrian bridge that would have connected the city to Oak Grove, an unincorporated area of Clackamas County.
Lake Oswego was included in a policy committee for the bridge with elected officials from three other partner agencies — Clackamas County, the city of Milwaukie and Metro.
Since Lake Oswego has withdrawn from the project, the project team for the bridge will reach out to the remaining policy committee members to discuss potential next steps.
For Lake Oswego, currently the nearest places to cross the Willamette River by foot or bike are either Portland’s Sellwood Bridge or Oregon City’s “Arch” Bridge.
“I don’t see any reason to do this project,” Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker said. “It’s strongly opposed by most of the people in Lake Oswego. It’s a waste of money, waste of time. It’s very little benefit for our citizens.”
“Look at the Tilikum Bridge — it ended up at $134 million,” he said of Portland’s pedestrian- and bike-friendly crossing that opened in 2015.
A survey by Clackamas County earlier this year showed few people would rely on the proposed Oak Grove-Lake Oswego bridge for daily use. Of the survey’s roughly 540 respondents, only 3% said they’d use the bridge every day.
The Lake Oswego City Council decided not to move forward with a feasibility study for the bridge. It also withdrew its council liaison from the bridge’s advisory committee.
“A bridge in this location is found not to be feasible due to the potential low-usage, the open space, park and neighborhood impacts and the cost implications,” Councilor John LaMotte said, reading the motion for a vote.
The motion states that Lake Oswego will not contribute any funds for construction or maintenance of a bridge and will not support or approve any related infrastructure.
The Council passed the motion in a 5-2 vote.