City acquires land for South Waterfront Greenway Trail

The South Waterfront Greenway Trail will feature separate paths for biking and walking.

Last week, the Portland City Council voted to approve an ordinance that authorized the City Attorney to proceed with acquiring property for the South Waterfront Greenway Trail. With that decision, the City now controls a quarter-mile stretch of Willamette riverside land between SW Gibbs and SW Lane.

Showing the City’s progressive thinking in planning multi-use paths, the new Greenway Trail will feature complete separation of people on bicycles and on foot. According to design drawings, the bikeway will be set more inland and the walkway will be closer to the river. Both look to be about 12-15 feet wide. The new trail will run through the South Waterfront’s Central District.

Here’s a map to give you an idea of the location (Ross Island Bridge is at the top).

According to The Oregonian, excavation and environmental cleanup of the parcel of land is expected to cost the city between $700,000 to $1 million.

The total cost of the project is $8 million, half of which is coming from urban renewal funds, $2 to $3 million from system development charges, and $1 million from TriMet (as mitigation from the proposed Portland-Milwaukie light rail line). Developer Homer Williams — who owns the adjacent land and sold this parcel to the City through a “friendly condemnation” process for just $1 — is also expected to contribute about $200,000.

The project will also include riverbank vegetation and wildlife restoration as well as public art by Buster Simpson (same artists doing the Woodlawn bike corral). Learn more about the project on the Portland Parks and Recreation website.

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