Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 3rd, 2012 at 1:48 pm
promote Red Electric Trail.
My inbox is full of updates on major multi-use path projects happening in and around Portland, so I've decided to round them up into one post. (And yes, you'll notice I don't like to refer to them as "trail" projects, even though that word is in their official names. I just feel that the word "trail" only perpetuates the false notion many people have that these paths are for recreation and shouldn't be considered serious transportation corridors... which they are.)
When complete, the Red Electric Trail will connect the Fanno Creek Trail in Beaverton to Portland's Southwest Waterfront district. As per usual, the planning and actual construction has been agonizingly slow (Portland City Council released a study of the trail in 2007); but lately things are on the upswing. According to project volunteer Cole Trusty with SW Trails, Portland Parks & Recreation is actively negotiating right-of-way with property owners along the route, a new bridge at the western end of the project is set to be built next summer, and other pieces are falling into place. Trusty recently shared a new brochure (PDF) he just made to "develop the community support necessary to maintain momentum" on the project (PDF). The brochure is full of great background information on the project and it comes with a quality route map. He's already passed out 1,000 copies and plans to keep on giving them out. Trusty says there's also a new video on the works and there's even a new Facebook page you can "Like" to stay updated.
I just received an update on this project from Portland Parks & Recreation staffer Susan Watt. Construction on the Waud Bluff Trail — which will connect N. Willamette Blvd near University of Portland with Swan Island — began just over one year ago. It was originally planned to be done this past spring; then it was promised by this fall. Now, given a more complex set of construction issues than first realized, Watt says the new estimated completion date is December 31st of this year. Below is a more detailed update:
"We have completed the lower trail section with the exception of the gravel shoulders adjacent to the trail. The bridge foundations have been built on the south side of the tracks and the contractor is currently building the foundation on the north side. We anticipate beginning work on the uphill retaining wall for the upper trail section next week. That will take about 4 weeks to complete. The retaining wall for the downhill side was completed in June. The bridge has been built and will be shipped to the site sometime in October or early November for installation. The final stage of the project will be the installation of the drainage and paving of the upper trail, plantings and street improvements in Willamette Blvd."
Here's a photo from Watt showing the brand new pavement on the lower portion!
With the minor controversy around the Westside Trail in the rear-view mirror, Metro is planning to share several options for the 25 mile north-south route at a series of two open houses later this month. The goal for this corridor project is to connect the Willamette River near Forest Park to the Tualatin River in Tigard/King City. The open houses will be geared to garner public feedback on how the route connects to neighborhoods and other destinations.
Here are the details:
6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29
Stoller Middle School, Cafeteria
14141 NW Laidlaw Road, Bethany
A presentation will take place at 6:15 p.m.
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30
Deer Creek Elementary School, Library
16155 SW 131st Ave., King City
A presentation will take place at 6:45 p.m.
Metro will open an online comment form on the project website between October 24th and November 9th.