Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Springwater Trail repaving update (it’s almost done!)

Posted by on August 31st, 2010 at 2:17 pm

So fresh and so smooth. A portion of the Springwater near SE Luther Street this morning.
(Photos by reader Jonathan Ragsdale)

Adding finishing touches.

A $1.8 million, federally funded project to repave eight miles of the popular Springwater Corridor Trail is almost complete. The project was supposed to be done by now, but record rainfall in June pushed things back a full month.

Portland Parks & Recreation broke the project into four different pieces, three of which are now open and ready for use. The last segment that remains closed for another few weeks is the “Purple Route,” a four mile stretch running from SE 128th east to SE Circle Ave (just east of Powell Butte Nature Park). Check the detour map below for the somewhat complicated detour route (or download PDF here).

Lynn Barlow, Portland Parks & Recreation’s Eastside Natural Areas Supervisor, says they hope the inconvenience has been worth it. When asked to comment she shared this statement via email:

“For the first time since the Springwater Corridor was opened, Portland Parks & Recreation has been able to secure the funding, through federal stimulus dollars, to repave this very well-used trail. We appreciate the patience of trail users during this process, but we’re sure they’re going to find the results worth the inconvenience the detours might have caused this summer.”

Barlow also says the newly paved trail now features permeable asphalt, fog lines at the edges of the trail, and new wooden sign bollards.

For more on this project, check the Portland Parks website.

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. Thank you.

  • Geana Tyler August 31, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I just started biking to work this June and couldn’t wait for the Springwater to open as I live on the 122nd side and bike to Sellwood and back. No more hills!

    Now that it has been opened for me since last week I just LOVE my new commute to work by bicycle! Last Friday morning I saw a bobwhite quail along side the path!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Anonymous August 31, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Why the fog line only on one side?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 31, 2010 at 4:17 pm


      i assume they’re just not done striping the other side. Also, I just updated the story with a quote from a Parks staffer and a mention of new features that include permeable pavement, fog lines, and new wooden sign bollards.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kronda August 31, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    We got to enjoy the whole length of the Springwater for the Portland Century and it was LOVELY.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • DK August 31, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Look at the land on either side of the pavement in the above picture. How about 12″ of that land to make for some creative singletrack mt. biking trail? Some nice dirt surface to ride out to Powell Butte on instead of riding $40 knobbies on the pavement would be sweet, and easily achievable.

    As nice as the new pavement is, it cost $8million! When is the city going to pinch a couple dimes and throw some love to the dirty crowd?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • matt picio August 31, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Unfortunately the repave job is chipseal, not asphalt – so enjoy the new pavement while it lasts, because in 5 years it’ll start to suck again.

    Portland Parks – Please, please, PLEASE stop repaving paths with chipseal.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • matt picio August 31, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Anon (#2) and Jonathan (#5) – That’s correct – the rest of the trail has the fog line on both sides, the picture is of an incomplete section of the trail. Currently, some sections also do not have bollards and posts up yet – but there wasn’t much left to do when I rode it last weekend.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Hanrahan August 31, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    It is awfully nice to ride on, compared to what it was like. I am sorry that it will deteriorate so quickly again. I hope that when the trolley trail is built they will use asphalt instead of chipseal.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Johnson August 31, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Does Portland plan on restriping the centerlines? These are important on busy days, and the entire paved length of the Corridor is in Portland’s jurisdiction (even the parts in Gresham).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Stig10 August 31, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Sweet. They’ve been doing a great job and even appeared to be keeping the sections open on the weekends.

    It’s gonna be great riding on this again in the dark winter mornings with LED lights blazing.

    I’m looking forward to the completion of the Fairview trail for more commuting options with the Springwater. Should be considerably less lumpy than the 205 path and sans uneven concrete slabs and tragic pot hole fix jobs. Good progress!!

    Bike Commute Challenge starts tomorrow..

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tom August 31, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Keep in mind these trails are dangerous at night with homeless people that are intoxicated and/or off their meds. During the day there is the challenge of dealing with roller-bladers, baby-carts, and side-by-side trail hoggers. No to mention the squirrels and other wild-life that can easily get caught in your spokes, causing a spill.

    Indeed it is safer and more pleasurable to use the roads.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Alan August 31, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Geana @ 1, you sure it was a Bobwhite?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • noah August 31, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    @Tom #11, why all the negativity? I’ve been on the trail dozens of times & never had a serious problem with any of the things you mention. And I’d say with all the two ton monsters passing close and “passing gas” for me to breathe, the road can’t be much safer.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • CaptainKarma September 1, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Tom is being ironic, I ride the Springwater nearly every night for RELAXATION! Last night I saw a raccoon family crossing the path. Once I saw a crane or heron fishing in J.Creek. Lots of kitty-kats. Ma & Pa and kids walking or riding, even after dark, which is when I’m out there. I think Tom wants the route to only himself which is why he is saying all those silly things which don’t match up to the reality.

    I will take Springwater any day or night, much nicer than crazy-time on major roads with the real drunks & druggies behind the wheel of death-rollers. Last night I was driving behind an SUV which sat too long at green lights, repeatedly veered into the bike lanes, and was very inconsistent with braking and maintaining speeds. Turns out she was texting; musta been mighty important stuff, huh.

    Rarely see those “scary” homeless folks on the Springwater, and when I do they are either unobtrusive or just friendly and peaceable. Until our system deals with folks who have needs, the default will be folks *sometimes* sleeping alongside trails. I’m much more concerned with “legitimate” citizens killing me with their SUV or bus or getting shot by a cop because I pull out a cell-phone or something.

    No, I will take Springwater, day or night, no problem – it is really sweet!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Spiffy September 1, 2010 at 8:23 am

    it’s a much smoother ride now when I use it… which isn’t that often, maybe a couple times a month…

    yes, please put some center-line stripes on the ENTIRE path…

    and please put some traffic control signs at the intersection of the I-205 path… and any other path-on-path intersections…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Geana Tyler September 1, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Alan @ 12 Definitely Bobwhite quail, a pair. I know they aren’t native so must have been released/escaped from someone raising them.

    This morning I saw a pair of ringneck pheasants in the same general area. Like I said, someone probably raised them and they got away or were released.

    Much better commuting and seeing ‘wildlife’ than riding Duke and dealing with the Toman hill!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • pdxbikeworm September 1, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I’ve been riding the Springwater Corridor to work and back regularly since its initial paving – I believe over 10 years ago. Most of that ride has been on the middle segment. I can’t say how happy I am to see this re-pave happening! No more broken spokes, loose bolts, and jumbled lunches.

    I’ve seen bald eagles, deer, coyotes, quail, and heron during my rides. Once I saw the stunning view of a flock of geese flying overhead while the rising sun reflected off of their wings, resulting in an early morning light show of quiet beauty.

    Use of this trail has increased significantly since the repave has occurred. The biggest danger is not the homeless, but insensitive speed demons (generally male and old enough to know better) who weave in and out of the baby carraiges, elderly walkers, etc… Slow down! If you’re in that big of a hurry – drive! You can get where you need to go in a timely and safe manner without having to prove your manhood.

    Pedestrians (including homeless) are mainly a danger during the winter, particularly in the middle section, which is also the darkest. Many times I have come suddenly across a dark figure on a lonely, rainy patch at night – beware and light up accordingly.

    I look forward to sharing this wonderful piece of Portland with everyone who is looking for a safe bike route, a piece of nature, or just a quiet stroll!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • beelnite September 1, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I rode it this morning to add to my BCC mileage count – we have a friendly competition going in the office since we ride anyway – who can add more miles.

    Anyway- soooo smooth it cleans your tires! It’s a bike superhighway.

    The 205 path and the approach from the north isn’t so shabby either!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ely September 1, 2010 at 9:59 am

    The PDX Century was the first time I’d ridden a large chunk of this trail. It was SWEET!!! Smooth, silent ride, lots of wildlife, lovely scenery, friendly neighbors – and hyper-aware drivers at nearly all the street crossings. Nice.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Rob September 1, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Jonathan, It looks as if they’re preparing to pave the “missing link” also. Do you know if they’re going to open it soon, or is it just going to initially be open as a service road for the pump station construction? Thanks.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Anonymous September 1, 2010 at 10:18 am


    I’m sure you weren’t riding the Portland section of the trail, it was anything but “SWEET!!! Smooth”.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Alan September 1, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Wonderful sightings, Geana and pdxbikeworm.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • RWL1776 September 1, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Excellent photo of that fossil fuel powered vehicle putting down the stripes on the ashphalt made from the bottom of a barrel of oil. And the initial runoff will have the left over waste oil sheen going right into the lovely dirt.

    Doesn’t sound so “Green” anymore, does it?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • noah September 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    RWL1776, per that kind of reasoning, is anything but suicide “green”?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • beelnite September 2, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Heheheh – about 2-3 weeks ago I had no idea of the repaving schedule… I ran into a series of looooong gravel stretches.

    So I treated it like a Cyclocross – hopped off and jogged – after about what seemed like 100 miles and stretch after stretch of torn up trail… hehehe well I had to get home! 🙂

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Marsh September 4, 2010 at 12:43 am

    @14 captain karma

    Uh, I was /grinning/ for your entire post. Thank you! I wish we all had your outlook!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Johnson September 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    So…any word on centerlines?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • amanda September 7, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Yay for pave-edge striping! That’s really been my only complaint about the Springwater. Biking in the dark and rain, those edges can just disappear.

    I’m not sure where people want center stripes? They make a lot of sense where the path is narrow and there are lots of people but things don’t seem too jumbled up out there.

    Anyway, edge stripes! Aweseom!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Johnson September 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Centerlines help remind people not to pass on curves, near intersections and not to play “King of the Road.” The MUTCD recommends the use of centerlines on cycleways anyway.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Paul Johnson September 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Though in wider segments like from the Gresham city line to Eastman Parkway, there’s enough room for either four lanes or two lanes and paved pedestrian shoulders; dealer’s choice.

    Recommended Thumb up 0