Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Springwater path damaged by erosion

Posted by on March 29th, 2012 at 10:20 am

Erosion of the Willamette riverbank has caused damage
to the Springwater path just south of downtown.
(Photo: Chad Berkley)

A downed tree on the banks of the east side of the Willamette River about one mile south OMSI on the Springwater Corridor Trail has damaged the popular multi-use path.

Portland Parks & Recreation spokesman Mark Ross says the “trail failure” was caused by a cottonweed tree that fell earlier this month which led to the soil near the path becoming unstable.

“Trail users are asked to slow down in this area, yield to the slowest traffic, and be considerate of other trail users,” says Ross.

The trail and the safety precautions are set to stay in place until the riverbank is stabilized and the trail is repaired. Parks is working with the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) to figure out how to redesign the bank to make it more stable. A geotech engineer with BES has determined that the existing path is stable and Parks staff are monitoring the path daily for any signs of further erosion.

Here’s another image of the damage sent to us by the Parks Bureau

With more rain in the forecast, I don’t expect this getting fixed any time soon. Use caution when riding on this portion of the path until further notice and please drop us a line if you notice any developments.

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 — Jonathan

  • 9watts March 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I’m going to guess that those bollards will stay put longer than the ones put up recently on Lovejoy and by the Condor/Terwilliger intersection….

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    • El Biciclero March 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      …and they’re not even glued down!

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      • El Biciclero March 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

        Oh, wait–maybe they are…looked too quickly at the picture…

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  • Delfairen March 29, 2012 at 10:38 am

    So I guess this is nothing to do with the trucks they recently had on the springwater fixing the lines going over the trail!

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    • John Lascurettes March 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

      You don’t have to guess. It was soil erosion due to a downed tree near the bank. This is what nature does.

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  • Todd Hudson March 29, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I spend a lot of time paddling along the area between Ross Island and the shoreline along where the Springwater is. I have seen numerous erosion blowouts in this area.

    Rivers move, and the river wants to take over the area where the Springwater currently sits. It may not happen relatively soon, but the Willamette’s course will eventually shift, and this section of the Springwater will have to move.

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    • Anthony Choate March 29, 2012 at 10:51 am

      No, engineers can protect the bank from movement. The Willamette is a managed system, and reinforcement will ensure the river stays where we want it. It just takes active management. The Willamette hasn’t been allowed to meander naturally for over 100 years – see for example the seawall in Portland.

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      • rain bike March 29, 2012 at 11:22 am

        Silly engineers and their need to “manage” nature.

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        • A.K. March 29, 2012 at 11:31 am

          You wouldn’t have drinking water in Portland right now if these silly engineers weren’t out doing what they are doing.

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          • rain bike March 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

            I don’t deny that. I was just poking fun at a certain point of view – not saying it is any more or less valid than my own.

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            • A.K. March 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm

              Ah sorry then! I think my internet humor detector is broken today…

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  • Ian March 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I saw this when they put it up and was very amused. It’s almost like the bank is a caged animal they’re trying to protect cyclists from.

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  • kittens March 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Exciting action on the trail!

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  • Tourbiker March 29, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    there was plenty of warning, I watched it slough off for the last 2 years.
    Thats not the only spot either. bit closer to Ross Isl Br near the picnic table. (MP1)
    and Yeah…those repair trucks are brutal on the trail.

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  • Carter March 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    A “cottonweed” tree! That’s a good one. Cottonwoods grow fast, they colonize disturbed environments… yes, I guess you can call them weeds.

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  • o/o March 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    damage began last year and was not that bad. it was repaired as well. i knew it wont not last.

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  • laura March 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    yeah… In the same vicinity, there are 3 or 4 areas that have been covered in sandbags and black plastic after sloughing off in last years high water. Hopefully the City will repair the previous slides as well.

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