Parks and Rec solves mysterious bridge disappearance

Officials moved the planks because it was unpermitted

The plank bridge built by locals in the Loll Wildwood Natural Area was removed by Portland Parks and Rec. (Courtesy photo)
The plank bridge built by locals in the Loll Wildwood Natural Area was removed by Portland Parks and Rec. (Courtesy photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A bridge disappeared from a local natural area, leaving neighbors wondering how and why it vanished without a trace.

The bridge was in the Loll Wildwood Natural Area in the West Portland Park Neighborhood. Residents said the bridge was made of thick planks and was built by locals who said it was the best way to loop around the entire area.

“It wasn’t like it was big with rails, but it was pretty substantial and seemed really safe and solid,” Gerry Foote, who walked the forest with his dog, said. “You can’t do a complete loop anymore with that gone.”

The Bureau of Parks and Recreation solved the mystery, saying after watching it for a year, they removed the bridge this spring. Spokesperson Mark Ross said it was an unpermitted crossing and winter rains eroded the bank around the planks, presenting a safety hazard.

Neighbors said despite city rules, it was a sturdy bridge and will be missed.

“I know this is supposed to be a wildlife habitat area, but it’s also public land for us to enjoy, and it’s nice if there is a way to get around in it,” Foote said.

Ross said Parks and Rec officials didn’t tell neighbors they were removing the bridge because it wasn’t sanctioned by the city. He also said they will be discussing the decisions with the Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. group Thursday night.

Foote hopes one day a bridge of some sort returns to complete the loop.

“Keep the trails natural, but let us have a bridge,” Foote said. “Let us keep it real low key, more like walking in the woods.”