Lacking funds, City pauses on new South Waterfront path

A new path with separated space for biking and walking
was set to begin construction here this summer. But
a lack of funds has changed that plan.

The City of Portland Parks & Recreation bureau announced this morning that a $2 million funding gap has put their plans for the South Waterfront Greenway project on hold. While the City has obtained all necessary permits and the final design of the trail was officially approved earlier this month, Parks has been unable to come up with the money.

The $8 million project — which will include significant environmental restoration and riverfront access improvements along with the paved biking and walkings paths — is funded by a variety of sources including TriMet, the Portland Development Commission, and private developers. The project is noteworthy because the path would be the City’s first that physically separated bikers from walkers — something that is seen as increasingly important as our local paths burst at the seams with users.

Can’t wait to see this built. Oh well… someday.
(Graphic: Portland Parks & Recreation)

“Unfortunately,” read a statement released today, “after several years of earnestly working to fill the almost $2.0 million funding gap, we have not been successful.”

Here’s more from the City’s website:

“All permits for the construction have been filed. Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) intends to build the entire project. We are, however, at the point where we need to be realistic about the money we have in hand and what we can build during the current fiscal year. As you know, the cash on hand has always been less than the total cost of the project. For the past year, we have been working with potential funders to bridge that gap. In this economy, we were unfortunately not successful.”

With the pathway on hold, Parks will begin the environmental restoration work in July. No date has been given for the construction of the path. “We are hopeful to continue on to phase 2 next year if funds are available.”

— See the City’s official website for this project here.

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