Bridge built as monument to pioneers at Jordan River Parkway Trail

Posted at 7:48 PM, May 14, 2014

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- Early pioneers crossed the frozen Jordan River for the first time back in 1848 in what is now West Valley City.

Now there’s a new suspension bridge along the Jordan River Parkway Trail that stands as a monument to those pioneers located at 1355 W. 3100 South, near the Utah Cultural Celebration Center.

“The swaying of the bridge is more symbolic to the pioneers crossing the river and things being a little precarious,” said Laura Hanson, Executive Director of the Jordan River Commission.

And precarious is exactly the word some cyclists would use to describe the bridge, because of the wide gaps between each plank.

“It wasn't built by cyclists -- that's what I'll say,” said cyclist Larry Chadwich. “The gaps between the boards are wide enough. I don't ride a skinny tire, but if I did you would bend a rim.”

There are residents who like the way it is.

“I think it's perfect, if you don't like it stay off of it,” said walker Richard Porath.

There are several other bridges people can use if they don't like the feel of the Pioneer Crossing Bridge.

“This is essentially a piece of playground equipment. It's not a transportation connection,” Hanson said.

The Jordan River Commission says it expects the feature will attract families to that part of the trail.

“The more people we can bring to the area doing really fun positive things: riding their bikes, bringing their families down, jumping on the bridge, I think that's a positive thing,” Hanson said.

The bridge is currently open. The city plans to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 31.