Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 14th, 2013 at 12:08 pm
A gorgeous new segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is now officially open to the public. The new paved path is 12 feet wide and 1.6 miles long. It goes from the John B Yeon State Park trailhead to the Moffett Creek Bridge. Its completion marks a significant milestone because it's now possible to ride a bicycle between Troutdale and Cascade Locks without ever having to ride on the shoulder of Interstate 84.
We got a sneak peek at this back in August and it is a truly stunning place to ride. The new shared-use path is 12-feet wide and is ADA compatible. There's also a new 76-foot long, 16-foot wide bridge over McCord Creek that ODOT says, "reflects the craftsmanship of the original highway design." Other features include a new picnic and rest area with views of Beacon Rock and a link to US Forest Service Trail 400 that connects to Elowah Falls.
This $8.1 million project (funded in part by an FHWA grant) was the final link in what is now a continuous, 34-mile ride between Troutdale and Cascade Locks with 26 miles on the Historic Columbia River Highway (a beautiful, narrow road open for driving and bicycling) and 6.5 miles of shared-use path. ODOT's ultimate plans are to extend this route all the way to Hood River by 2016 — which will be the 100th birthday of the Historic Highway. That final 9 miles is estimated to cost about $47 million. To date, ODOT has restored 62 of the original 73 miles of the Historic Highway between Troutdale and The Dalles.
As we've reported, this new path has already sparked economic development in Cascade Locks and as word spreads this is sure to become a signature bicycling attraction in the region. Troutdale is only about 16 miles east of downtown Portland so get out there this weekend and check it out!
Here are a few more photos to whet your appetite...