Parks: Springwater Corridor path to reopen November 1st

New overlook offers views of larger fish culvert on the Springwater Path.
(Photo: djstabe)

Portland Parks and Recreation Commissioner Nick Fish announced at a press conference this morning that the four-month closure of the Springwater Corridor path will last for just 10 more days. The path — a vital connection for thousands of people who walk and roll between Sellwood and downtown Portland — has been closed since July 9th and is now set to open on-time on November 1st.

Portland Parks, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Environmental Services are wrapping up an $8.8 million project aimed at reconnecting habitat between the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and the Willamette River.

“Instead of a small culvert, we now have a ‘salmon subway’ that reconnects the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and the Willamette River for the first time in over 100 years,” Commissioner Fish said at this morning’s event. “Juvenile salmon now have a rest stop on their journey to the ocean. I look forward to biking here with my son and enjoying nature in the heart of our urban environment.”

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There will be more to see once the path is open. The project also brought new overlooks and other places to stop and enjoy the new fish passages and 175 bird species that are known to live in the area.

Before this project got underway there was widespread consternation that the detour route on surface streets would not be adequate. However we haven’t heard much concern from anyone in the past few months, so it appears as though people have been able to go with the flow.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Austin
Austin
3 years ago

This is awesome, I can’t wait to check it out!

Paul H
Paul H
3 years ago

The 19th Ave detour has been acceptable, but I’ll be happy to leave it (and its abysmally bumpy pavement) behind.

maccoinnich
3 years ago

More good news: the project to pave the Springwater Trail Gap from SE Umatilla to SE 13th Ave is currently out to bid. (https://procure.portlandoregon.gov/bso/external/bidDetail.sdo?bidId=00000695&parentUrl=activeBids)

Matthew in PDX
Matthew in PDX
3 years ago
Reply to  maccoinnich

This is great news, I’ve found that the roads used to get around the unpaved sections are getting busier and more dangerous for cyclists. I won’t ride on the gravel as my bike is a narrow wheel road bike, so isn’t really designed to ride safely on loose surfaces.

PS
PS
3 years ago
Reply to  maccoinnich

BOOOOO!!! That is the only interesting section of the Springwater.

Eric H
Eric H
3 years ago

So they held a press conference to let people know that it was going to be open on schedule? Wow! We should throw a party!

And I suspect that you haven’t heard much concern because people either: tried the detours a couple of times and gave up, going back to driving; or just dealt with it because nothing was going to make the detours any better. Heck they almost didn’t get the Bybee crossing turned on before the Springwater was closed. And don’t even get me started on the giant concrete monstrosity on Milwuakie.

But don’t worry this was the summer of the e-scooter, so that was more important anyway.

jeff
jeff
3 years ago
Reply to  Eric H

I thought the detour would be too much of a pain, but it really wasn’t too bad, added 5-10 minutes. Clearly not as nice as the path of course, but workable. Yay, salmon!

SilkySlim
SilkySlim
3 years ago

Good stuff! I really dig that overlook piece, well done. Excited to have Springwater back soon (not to mention that extra piece mentioned above, which I can’t believe wasn’t done yet).

Joe
Joe
3 years ago

glad to be off some of the serface streets, aka 17th just bumpy ride lol

Adam
Adam
3 years ago

Kind of Springwater-related, or at least commute related…

What happened to the bike counter on the Hawthorne Bridge? It has been broken for at least two years now, with the number “zero” displayed for number of bike trips across that entire time.

Frankly it’s embarrassing. It either needs to be fixed, or simply removed.

Andrew Kreps
Andrew Kreps
3 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Yeah, the counts have been some manner of busted for a very long time now. Note that there are no valid westbound counts this year, and the eastbound counts are quite suspect for periods. I think we can call this system in serious disrepair.

http://portland-hawthorne-bridge.visio-tools.com/

Brian
Brian
3 years ago

Someone told me that the fences are moved ever so slightly on the weekends and people are already using the path.

Holtz
3 years ago

People may not have complained a lot about the detours, but almost every day I saw people surprised and confused, pondering the defaced map on the trail at SE Spokane. Unlike detours for drivers, which almost always include prominent signs along the length of the detour, people riding bikes were expected to memorize the suggested routes (which included unnecessary out of direction travel).

It didn’t help that Google Maps did not update its maps (despite many requests from the city and users)… again a disappointing contrast to the almost-instant re-routing when motor traffic is detoured. (For a brief period last week, Google Maps did show the closure, but I just checked and it again incorrectly indicates the trail is open right now.)

Mark smith
Mark smith
3 years ago

The irony that Portland has one major express lane for walkers and rollers in the area and when there was a closure…they couldn’t shut down one of the hundreds of other streets dedicated to cars for the duration….

Thank goodness the springwater never started as a car road…

lyle w
lyle w
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark smith

Reminds me of an old saying… ‘Don’t listen to what people say, watch what they do…’

ED
ED
3 years ago

I am excited for this to reopen! The Springwater is the perfect connection between my daughter’s preschool and my office, so I will be able to bike commute on her school days once this is open. I didn’t complain about the closure, but the reroutes were unimpressive enough that I only rode them once or twice before just deciding to wait for the Springwater to reopen. So, not headline grabbing, but definitely the closure was my reason not to bike that particular route. Maybe a better reroute would have helped?

Sukho in PDX
Sukho in PDX
3 years ago

Great news. As a Sellwood resident, the Springwater has been my daily bike route for over 10 years. Not that I never stopped appreciating it, but having to go without has given me even more perspective on how lucky I am to have this as my daily work commute. So lucky and grateful.

Andrew Kreps
Andrew Kreps
3 years ago

I rode all of the reroute options, including ones that weren’t on the map. All of them had failings of various severities. All in all, I prepared myself for extra danger, extra time and unusual routing and I did OK. That said, I found some issues that PBOT failed to remedy.

The crossing of 99E at 17th fails to give a pedestrian signal when a train comes through. Once, I waited through 3 cycles of the light to achieve a green/walk signal.

If the light on 17th at Holgate enters a yellow phase as you enter the intersection, you’ll be lucky to make it halfway across Holgate before the green phase starts. And that’s on a fast bike going > 15mph.

I’ve been stuck at the Harold/99E light for minutes with no indication that the light was ever going to change.

During this time period, the Springwater was closed from 45th to 19th for two weeks with a ridiculous detour down a curvy section of Johnson Creek(read: motor vehicles cross the line with wild abandon) with no protection, no indication that there might be extra bike traffic on the road, and no safe route to cross the Sellwood bridge if that was your Springwater detour (mine was).

So, yes, we didn’t complain. That doesn’t make it a success.

Gumbo
Gumbo
3 years ago

Exciting news and a wonderful contribution by the city — but can someone tell me (or guarantee) where the ‘safe’ sections are?