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ODOT, TriMet will roll out I-205 path improvements

Posted by on June 9th, 2009 at 9:47 am

The (Epic) Sushi Ride

Project will improve lighting
on I-205 path.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the federal stimulus bill), the bike and pedestrian path that runs along Interstate 205 will be getting a $2.5 million makeover.

Most of the money will go toward new lighting on a 3.6 mile stretch of the path from SE Sunnyside Road to SE Woodstock (I hope it doesn’t attract vandals), but according to ODOT spokesperson Christine Miles there’s more in store than just improved illumination.

Story continues below


Miles says that at an upcoming groundbreaking event for the project slated for June 17th, ODOT and TriMet (they put in over $500,000 for the project) will unveil detailed plans that will include “a whole new look” for bikers at the notorious point where the path hits SE Woodstock and Foster.

The project overlaps with TriMet’s existing I-205 Light Rail project.

View Larger Map

Map shows where the path
hits SE Woodstock and Foster.

The project calls for a new bike bridge (at the same level as the new light rail bridge) to go up and over Woodstock and Foster. Miles also said that the path will be widened from its existing 10-feet to 12-feet from SE Sunnyside to SE Woodstock.

To kick off the project, a groundbreaking event will be held on June 17th. According to an invite for the event, reps from ODOT, Clackamas County, the City of Portland, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and TriMet will all be in attendance. Miles says more details on the project will be available at that time.

This $2.5 million project was the only bike-related project funded with ODOT’s $224 federal economic stimulus allocation (see what else they did with the money here). The project will create an esimated 35 jobs and the path expansion is slated to be complete by the end of July.

    I-205 Path Project Groundbreaking
    Wednesday, June 17, 10 a.m.
    The multi-use path just north of SE Sunnyside Rd.
    Please R.S.V.P. to Monika Lackey at or 503-962-2244
Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • K'Tesh June 9, 2009 at 10:03 am

    That’s Great News…

    Now, When does the Hwy 217 Bike Path get built?!

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  • lothar June 9, 2009 at 10:24 am

    This is all great but wouldn’t it have been cheaper to incorporate the bike bridge with the light rail bridge and save a few bucks? On top of that, they had to have known they were going to have the light rail crossing Powell before they built a $1.2 million bike bridge. It seems as if the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. I got nothing against bike bridges but this doesn’t seem like smart planning to me.

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  • Matt Picio June 9, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Waitaminute – why isn’t this already done yet? Why does it need stimulus money? This bridge is part of the original project, and it’s supposed to be completed already:

    “At the end of the two-year
    construction period, community
    members will benefit from … the
    upgraded ODOT multi-use path …

    Improvements to the ODOT path
    will include:

    • A new elevated crossing will be constructed over SE Foster
    Road and SE Woodstock Boulevard, increasing continuity
    and safety for pedestrians and bikers.”

    Why isn’t it completed? What does Tri-Met have to say?

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  • Martha R June 9, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Lothar, I’m not an engineer, but I’ve talked to engineers about light rail/bike bridges and have been surprised by what I found out. I wish I could provide a better explanation, (hello engineers? Help out here?) but the upshot is that you don’t actually save money by trying to make a single bike/train bridge as opposed to two separate bridges.

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  • mmann June 9, 2009 at 11:00 am

    This is great news. I live east of Tabor and I (used to) use the path all the time – but 2 years of closure has been a real drag. 92nd has been a poor (and debris-strewn) substitute. And open in July is better than I had expected – they weren’t kidding when they said they wanted the stimulus dollars put to work immediately.
    Let us know when you have more details on the June 17 event.

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  • Dave June 9, 2009 at 11:10 am

    When does the rest of the path reopen?

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  • BURR June 9, 2009 at 11:13 am

    what about the Sullivan’s Gulch trail along the Banfield?

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  • Grimm June 9, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Are there any plans to light the spring water from division to sellwood? I would wager that trail is one of the most used in the entire area, and its freaking sketchy at night.

    Dont get me wrong, I think its the 205 path is in need of a improvements. Like not making us bunny hop across the 205 several times and better way to cross the tracks and busy streets. I look forward to using the improved path.

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  • BURR June 9, 2009 at 11:15 am

    @ Martha #4 – It is so much easier and less expensive to simply cantilever a bike ped path onto an existing bridge than it is to build a completely new bridge.

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  • Anonymous June 9, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I have the same question as Matt (#3) — I really thought that reconstructing the I-205 bike path was part of the same project as the green line construction. It sounds like someone’s trying to pull some kind of accounting trick.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) June 9, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I know the focus of this project is the new lighting. I am not clear what all exactly is being funded with this $2.5 million from the stimulus versus what bike-related improvements were coming via the existing TriMet light-rail project.

    I wanted more specific details on this project but said they’ll have it at the June 17th event.

    apologize for any mix-ups. i will try to clear things up in a follow-up story.

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  • Jay R. June 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I’d rather they’d just re-open the damned thing. It’s been closed for years, now, and TriMet’s constant updates on the green line say that the path from Woodstock to Sunnyside will not be opened until “new lighting is installed.”

    Just open it already! I live a mile or so south of Woodstock, and it leaves me with no (good) way of going north or south. (Yeah, 92nd is open, but it’s hardly ‘good’.)

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  • Stig June 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I’ve been following Trimet’s progress and announcements on their website. The Caruthers/Division to Foster section was supposed to have been reopened in May. They’re actually 2 months behind schedule.

    I can’t find the actual text at the moment on the site, but from what I remember- it was stated that the 205 path is going over Foster/Woodstock with the Max line.

    I emailed Trimet about the delay at the end of May and they never responded. They just quietly pushed back the reopen dates without announcement.

    Unbelievable that they couldn’t have kept a 10′ path open to pedestrians and cyclists throughout the construction. It’s a wonder no one died (including me) on the nasty 92nd Ave alternate route.

    They did manage to keep the Springwater open during the overpass construction there. The trail was wrecked w/ their heavy vehicles, but they did actually repave that short section to their credit.

    There’s more construction/landscaping taking place right now along the Springwater trail right where the trail’s condition is at its worst. That must be the ‘water utility work’ they mention.

    I’ll be so happy after the major Springwater resurfacing project is completed and the entire 205 path is finally reopened.

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  • Stig June 9, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Found it- it was announced in April 2007, if not before:

    ‘A new elevated crossing will be constructed over SE Foster Road and SE Woodstock Boulevard, increasing continuity and safety for pedestrians and bikers.’

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  • lothar June 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Matt #3

    +1 Something stinks at Trimet.

    +1 #12

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  • casey June 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I’ll be happy when the 205 path opens back up. I really hope something comes of the SUllivan’s Gulch trail, though… that would be a major boost to commuting options east/west.

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  • Bent Bloke June 9, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I find it hard to believe ODOT and TriMet think they can build a bridge in one month. The Springwater bridge over Johnson Creek at the east end of Powell Butte was supposed to be open 10/15/2008, and it doesn’t look like anyone has even started on it. Nearly 8 months overdue! I guess they didn’t say the new Foster overpass would be finished *this* July …

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  • Dave June 9, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    This is the stuff that drives me nuts as a cyclist – would PDOT/ODOT/Trimet think they could close a major auto thoroughfare for years on end with only a half-assed detour through neighborhood streets?

    I say we demand a total reconstruction, and they can close southbound I-205 for a few years to park the trucks while they do it.

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  • Matt Picio June 9, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Stig (#14) – you mean the document I linked to and quoted in post #3? 😉

    Nope, you’re not hallucinating, and Tri-Met talked about it in other documents at the time.

    What I’d like to know is:

    1. Why Tri-Met didn’t finish the detour before closing the path

    2. Why Tri-Met is 2 months behind the *revised* schedule for opening the path (the path was supposed to reopen in Spring of 2009)

    3. Why the bridge they promised to be open at the end of construction isn’t open

    4. Why Tri-Met / ODOT didn’t post any drawings or plans of the route of the path

    5. Why the rebuilt path travels *through* the transit stations rather than adjacent to them

    So far, we have a late, revised facility that might even be inferior to what existed before construction began. ODOT / motorists would not have tolerated this project if it narrowed the travel lanes on I-205, so why should we as cyclists and pedestrians tolerate a reduction in capacity and function?

    This isn’t about the lighting – the lighting is needed, the funding came about unexpectedly and ODOT jumped on the opportunity. Kudos for them, even though it’ll delay the opening of the lower segment of the path for a couple of months. The real story is whether the new path maintains at least the prior level of service, and why the promised improvements (like the Foster / Holgate crossing) are not already in place. The time to build the bridge was when they were already building the transit bridge.

    Bent Bloke (#16) – they don’t believe they can build it in a month – the July date is for opening the path from Caruthers to Foster. Foster to Sunnyside won’t reopen until October, and call me cynical, but the bridge probably isn’t even designed yet. That means another year or more before we get it – if we do.

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  • Dave Thomson June 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Jonathan – I do hope you have the time to do some investigative journalism here; there seem to be significant questions raised by this article regarding the I-205 path status, schedule, facilities. Thanks!

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  • chris June 9, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I prefer 92nd — I wish that they’d bore an underpass or build a bridge across I-84.

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  • Second Class Citizen June 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    “5. Why the rebuilt path travels *through* the transit stations rather than adjacent to them.”

    What? That’s like routing I205 on to a pedestrian filled side street every couple miles.

    Slow. Stop. Get a car.

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  • Joel June 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I hope they never ever illuminate the springwater through sellwood I have ridden the path at night about a million times with no bad results. Keep it dark!

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  • David Guettler June 13, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I just found an alternative route from 92ed at Otty/Idleman to Sunnyside at 105th, bypassing the Kaiser intersection. Look for where Stevans joins up to Idleman one block east, then curves around to Monterey. Go up the hill to High Creek, right one block to a sidewalk connecting through to 105th. No traffic or glass, few stoplights.

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